Undoing EU security through the art of failure: cinematic imaginations in/from the post-Yugoslav space

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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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Studies on Security
Early online date03 Aug 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 03 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 York University.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • border thinking
  • Bosnia
  • cinema
  • EU
  • queer IR
  • security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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