Skip to main content

Deiana, Maria-Adriana. “Undoing EU security through the art of failure: cinematic imaginations in/from the post-Yugoslav space.” Critical Studies on Security (2020): 1-16.


This paper makes a contribution to critical scholarship on EU b/ordering and ontological security. It deploys an aesthetic approach informed by decolonial scholarship and queer theory to critically examine the operation of EU security from the vantage point of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a site perennially relegated to the EU’s dysfunctional periphery which has recently re-entered the spotlight in contemporary debates over the EU’s border regime refracted through the Balkan route. Mobilising decolonial scholarship and queer theorising offers a provocative entry point to interrogate EU security as a regime of the normal that constitutes the EU as a coherent, stable and progressive self/space through the production of places that ‘fail’ to be knowable according to its universalising norms. Such analytic reveals the stakes of being rendered a target of EU security for the communities that inhabit this site of b/ordering, while also making visible subjugated knowledges that are discarded and disqualified in normative narratives and practices. Aesthetic methods afford us a powerful entryway to uncover such knowledges. I propose a conceptual reading of two local documentary films premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival that unsettle dominant mappings of the region. I argue that aesthetic knowledges produced through these films contain alternative, more pluralist and creative ways of being in the world that defy progressive temporalities and neat b/ordering, exposing the limits of EU security.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.