Intentions of burial: Mourning, politics, and memorials following the massacre at Srebrenica

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29 Scopus citations


In the aftermath of tragedy, memorials and gravesites are frequently constructed. Research needs to pay attention to the goals of mourners for such places. The 1995 massacre at Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina left over 7,000 Muslim men missing and presumed dead. Five years later, families fought to bury the remains that had been collected. Qualitative interviews with 67 people, including survivors and key informants were completed over the summer of 2000. This article examines the intentions of the burial from the perspective of two groups of family members who lost loved ones: survivors who remain politically isolated and those involved in advocacy or political organizations. For the politically isolated, burial was important in reshaping individual mourning after mass death and in the face of unidentified remains. For those involved in advocacy groups, burial was a means of recognizing the past massacre, understanding the massacre's impact on current political divisions, and shaping future directions. Both mourning and political functions are elaborated on in the setting of Bosnian culture and society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-142
Number of pages18
JournalDeath Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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