I thought I knew all there was to know about evocative objects, at least as much as I needed to know to talk about ordinary (political) ontology. But I was very wrong, as wrong as I could ever be. I didn’t know much about those objects. And maybe I still don’t, even after spending a chunk of my life in Bosnia and Kosovo and immersed in their ethnic divisions and enclaves. What I concluded from my Balkan experience was that since peace and democracy building were the ultimate goals for the region, the divisiveness of ethnic enclaves and the objects that sustain them had to be defeated. In my mind, those enclaves and objects were absolutely counterproductive. Nothing good could ever come from them. “Good-for-nothings!” But the world is much messier and bigger than the Balkans. After thinking less about the Balkans and more about other contentious realities, primarily The Occupied Territories (but also Ukraine), I came to the sudden realization that I had been thinking of the divisiveness of enclaves and evocative objects solely in terms of whether they support peace and democracy building and totally neglected how they could act as forms of resistance. Evocative objects are at work in both building and resistance. In a sense, they are two sides of the same coin. It also became apparent that the resistance being promoted by enclaves and the evocative objects that support them, does not play out in the same way in every contentious reality. It is hard not to pick up on resistance, no matter where and how it operates. The Serb resistance in Kosovo pushes back on an Albanian-led parliamentary representative democratic republic, which has drawn ethnic minorities into various levels of the government, whereas the Palestinian resistance in The Occupied Territories, is resistance against a decade’s long occupation that has attempted to erase the Palestinian presence. Arguably they are very different sorts of contentious realities and resistances.
Conces, Rory J. Prof.
"Objects Supporting/Resisting a Democracy and Resisting an Occupation: Two Sides of the Same Coin—Kosovo and The Occupied Territories,"
International Dialogue: Vol. 13, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/id-journal/vol13/iss1/6