46 / 2017
Alenka Bartulović, Miha Kozorog

Gender and Music-Making in Exile: Female Bosnian Refugee Musicians in Slovenia

This article explores the role of Bosnian refugee women in the music-making and organisational activities of two refugee bands (Dertum and Vali) in Slovenia in the early 1990s. Endorsing the ideas about the transformative power of art and looking beyond the dominant identitarian doxa that views music-making in exile as simply the preservation of the ethnic/national identity in a new context, the article places particular emphasis on the active role of women as creative agents of social change. It traces their role ethnographically not only in the process of reinvention of a traditional musical genre (the sevdalinka), but also in identity negotiations and transformation of the gender and power relations within and beyond the boundaries of the heterogeneous Bosnian refugee community, which had been shaped by the strict Slovenian migration policy.
KEY WORDS: women refugees, music-making, art and change, gender relations, sevdalinka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia

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