Old Beats, New Verses: 21 Newly Composed Essays on Turbofolk

National and Cultural Identity

The essays in this section address turbo-folk's contentious cultural location between east and west. Contextualizing turbo-folk within a wider history of the region, the essays unpack the many contradictions and anxieties around constructions of national identity through popular music in the contemporary Balkans. Here, turbo-folk controversies become especially heated, since many (if not all) of the former Yugoslav states are still searching for a stable national identity in the aftermath of recent wars, breakdown of the communist project, and a longer historical legacy of colonization.

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