Stages of grief: Economic devastation and social oblivion

  • Ildiko Erdei Department of Ethnology and Anthropology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
Keywords:
economic devastation, social oblivion, Pančevo brewery

Abstract

In the spring of 2008, after Heineken bought the major stake in “Pančevačka pivara” (Pančevo brewery) from Efes, and thus became its owner, the corporation shut down production in the Pančevo factory, fired all remaining workers save for a few managers, and soon after halted production of the only remaining brand of “Pančevačka pivara” which was named after the brewery’s mid-nineteenth century founder – Weifert. Thus, after more than 150 years of beer production in Weifert’s brewery, and more than 280 years after beer first started to be produced in Pančevo, the town is left without a significant industrial capacity and one of its key cultural and identity symbols. What should be cause for concern for researchers is the huge discrepancy between the decades-long endeavor to traditionalize the brewery and the culture of beer consumption and utilize them in the representation of the town as an industry center as well as a multicultural environment with an urban sensibility and significant Habsburg heritage, and the complete silence which followed the closing of the brewery and is still there, four years after the factory shut down. The paper examines how the deep, uncomfortable silence which has enveloped these events, the absence of any kind of public debate on the issue as well as the lack of any kind of articulated unofficial discourse about this loss can be interpreted. Starting from the assumption that any way of speaking is simultaneously a way of not speaking, I will examine the social dynamics of the reverse process in a specific social, economic, political and cultural context. In other words, what is the role of social non-remembrance and what can be gleaned from this non-speaking, repressing, intentional oblivion?

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soIVFch-G3E
Published
2014-06-20
How to Cite
Erdei, Ildiko. 2014. “Stages of Grief: Economic Devastation and Social Oblivion”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 9 (2), 351-69. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v9i2.5.

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