Engaged past: social-anthropological analysis of transformations of popular music in the former Yugoslavia

fundamental research project
Basic Info


The Engaged past project brings together researchers from the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, ZRC SAZU.

The team focuses on social and cultural anthropological, historical anthropological and (ethno)musicological investigation and rethinking of contemporary cultural processes in the former Yugoslavia.

The vantage point is the relationship between dominating social order (and ideology), particularly socialism and its later transformations into capitalism, and the development of popular music at the fringes.

In the former Yugoslavia numerous forms of cooperation have been emerging between musicians and organisers, there has been significant resurrection of certain musical forms referencing Yugoslav past and not insignificant exchange of experiences of the past through social networks. These practices can importantly be analysed also as striving to find answers to the challenges of the present moment.

One of the objectives of the project is to interrogate the fields in popular-musical production that are present as an answer to the contemporary socio-economical crisis. The prospective answers are alluded to in the title of the project as “engaged past.”