HELPERS ACROSS THE ETHNIC DIVIDE: THE ROLE OF KOMŠILUK IN RESCUING DURING THE BOSNIAN CONFLICT

Authors

  • Nevena Medić

Keywords:

helpers, friendship, rescuing, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Abstract

The aim of the article is to understand the specificities of the acts of rescuing during the Bosnian conflict by answering  questions related to the identities and motivation of the people who have carried out such acts. The article examines to what extent individuals feel ethnically detached when conducting the acts of help, and to what extent they do not. I will present
through an interpretative framework that direct relations, extended contact through the neighborliness lines (komšiluk), and socialization with members of other ethnicities before the war were the key factors in helping acts. This enabled helpers to perceive ethnicity as a silent category and assisted them in undergoing an identity shift from the ethnic to local and communal
identification. The article seeks to reformulate the concept of rescuers and adjust it to other social, historical and cultural settings.

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Published

2021-05-28