Balkanising Taxonomy - A symposium & an exhibition supported by the Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre in Textiles and Graduate School, Goldsmiths, University of London
_Zlatan Krajina
PhD candidate at Media and Communications Department, Goldsmiths
Audiovisual Politics of Televised Imaginings of the Balkans and the 'Near East'

This is an enquiry in the ways by which the alleged ‘reality-transmitting’ television genre, the news, ‘maps’ ‘other’ cultures when the need to affirm the sense of belonging to a fragile supranational identity of European Union is provoked by the newcomers’ knock on the door. As the Turkish and Croatian applications for the EU-membership waited for the current members’ decision on the possible start of membership negotiations in 2005, BBC’s television reports on these countries brought to light the pertaining EU’s negotiations of its cultural boundaries, consequently (re)activating the classic East-West divide. In grasping the contours of such ‘mappings’, television news stories are read as cultural narratives, and deconstructed in the light of Orientalist and Balkanist discursive traditions. The analysis suggests that despite of (or, for the benefit of) the proclaimed credibility of the genre, the international news subject remains reduced to its ‘otherness’, preserved in a self-sustaining visual ‘spectacle-ness’. Its key contextual currencies, the Balkanist and Orientalist geographic appellations, operate as ever more arbitrary and unstable.

Before earning MA degree in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths in 2007, Zlatan (1981) had been working at Croatian public service radiotelevision (HRT) as radio and television news producer and presenter, and radio drama documentary author, for eight years. In 2004 he spent a Professional Development study year at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, USA, in television practice and theory, and has since then participated in a number of media conferences. His previously published work includes a series of studies on ‘The Zagreb Radio Documentary School’ (2005), and ‘Electronic Screens, Physical Spaces and Virtual Realities’ (2008), in Croatian Radio 3 Social Science Series, and ‘Democratic Potentials of Media Entertainment: Reading the Pyramid’ (2007) in Croatian Political Science Review. His PhD research project looks at 'unintentional' exposures to the media in public spaces, aiming to understand the strategies of negotiating 'self' when the attention is stirred by audiovisual appeal of the electronic screens that are out of individual reach.

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Zlatan Krajina

Zlatan Krajina