Burial at Srebrenica: Linking place and trauma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Five years after the massacre at Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina, survivors were faced with the decision: where did they want their loved ones buried? This report explores the reasons for their choice in qualitative interviews with 37 survivors of the massacre and 22 key informants performed over the summer 2000. Survivors wanted the loved ones buried at Potocari, a site just outside of Srebrenica, because it represented the site of ultimate horror, was connected to their sense of home, and underscored the various power relationships. The data points to the importance of place for health. Trauma, as it occurs in particular locations, breaks the sense of attachment to a particular place. Restoring the physical and social environment through burial and memorials mitigates the consequences of the trauma. The burial at Potocari provides a window into the mourning, politics, and recovery after mass violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-801
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume56
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bosnia
  • Burial
  • Place
  • Srebrenica
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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