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“Anarchy all over Baščaršija”: Yugoslavia's new socialist culture and the New Primitives poetics of the local

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Abstract

The paper analyses Sarajevo's music movement of New Primitives and its “poetics of the local” as a struggle against the cultural hypocrisy of Yugoslavia's “new socialist culture” and its privileging of “external-cosmopolitan” as apotheosis of cultured refinement and sophistication while denigrating “local-parochial” as epitome of uncultured primitiveness. I argue that the movement's praxis is best understood as a call to reject externally-imposed frames of reference as the basis for self-understanding, and to embrace a socio-cultural awareness that the only way to be in the world is to be authentically “primitive”– i.e. to exist as a distinct and autochthon socio-cultural self.

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