SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Waiting to Wait: Waiting to Wait Exiled Time, Sacred Landscapes and Struggles to Return in the Bosnian Dinaric Highlands

Dr Safet HadžiMuhamedović, University of Cambridge

Date: 18 November 2020Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 18 November 2020Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Virtual Event

A talk by Dr Safet HadžiMuhamedović, University of Cambridge

Anthropological studies of forced displacement are increasingly attending to the structural and affective aspects of temporal arrangements. It seems that, as the Bosnian poet Mak Dizdar once wrote, ‘it’s time to think about time’. In this talk, IDr Safet HadžiMuhamedović is particularly concerned with spatio-temporal fractures and continuities in the lives of post-war returnees to the Dinaric highlands of south-eastern Bosnia. Based on long-term fieldwork, Dr HadžiMuhamedović traces their attempts to restore a disrupted sacred calendar of syncretic feasts signalled by the shared (Muslim-Christian) figure of St Elijah. Unfitting to the nationalist projects of ethno-religious cleansing, these temporal orientations also have significant political connotations. Dr HadžiMuhamedović begins by suggesting that time appears in discreet relations from which people and entire landscapes can be distemporalised and ask what happens when different spatio-temporal orders meet (in the same body or landscape). Dr HadžiMuhamedović also explores how qualitatively different kinds of waiting merge in a post-conflict context to ensure the persistence of returnees’ orientation towards the homely.

Dr Safet HadžiMuhamedović is a Research Associate in Inter-Faith Relations at the University of Cambridge and one of the convenors of the Anthropology of Travel, Tourism and Pilgrimage summer school at SOAS. He has taught extensively in anthropology at the University of Bristol, SOAS and Goldsmiths (both University of London), as well as Goethe University Frankfurt. As an anthropologist of landscapes and religion in post-conflict contexts, he has conducted long-term fieldwork in Bosnia and stints of research in Palestine, the Basque Country and Israel. Safet is the author of Waiting for Elijah: Time and Encounter in a Bosnian Landscape and co-editor (with Marija Grujić) of Post-Home: Dwelling on Loss, Belonging and Movement.

Registration is open on eventbrite (zoom link will be sent after registration)

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

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