The Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway and the Croatian PEN Centre organized the tribune »South-Eastern Europe from another Perspective« presenting two books on the region by Norwegian authors: Svein Mønnesland »National Symbols in Multinational States. The Case of Yugoslavia« and Kjell Arild Nilsen »Milošević in War and in Hague«. With the authors, the books were presented by Vesna Teršelić and Žarko Puhovski.
A renowned Norwegian professor of South-Slavic studies at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Oslo has analysed the role of national symbols in multinational states in the “Yugoslav Case”. It is an all-encompassing study of the symbols that played determining roles in the shaping of nations and national identities in the South-Slavic areas of the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires in the beginning of the 20th century, their development in the combined state between the two world wars, their use during World War II and in Socialist Yugoslavia as well as in the successor states formed at the end of the century. The author presents the traditional national symbols-coats of arms, flags, and anthems-but also other symbols of identification, such as language, headgear, folklore elements (dance, musical instruments), holidays, religious symbols, etc. Many examples of symbol use are presented, through newspaper political cartoons clearly depicting various national discourses in varying periods and circumstances of the 20th century, but also through depictions on postal stamps, banknotes, postcards, and other widely circulated sources. The book explains, first of all, the complexity of the national symbols in the areas of the former Yugoslavia to outsiders, but through detailed overview and analysis it also provides a fresh view and new understanding of symbol use to those from the region who know those symbols well.