Socialism or Art: Yugoslav Mass Song and Its Institutionalizations

Srđan Atanasovski

Abstract


The genre of the mass song is one of the fundamental phenomena in aesthetics and practice of socialist realism. Mass songs are supposed not only to be accessible to the lay audience, but also to be composed in a way that invites the participation of amateurs. Importantly, the institutions which have been disseminating the mass song under state socialism, such as various institutions of education, culture and art, have also served as mechanisms for the normalization of its ideological content. This article summarizes important aspects of the concept of the mass song in general and offers a multifaceted exemplification, before proceeding to discuss the history of mass songs in socialist Yugoslavia (including, by and large, what is usually referred to as partisan songs), with emphasis on the institutional framework through which they were practiced and disseminated, and on specificities that the genre had accrued within the Yugoslav framework. This historical framework of practicing mass songs in Yugoslavia provides a platform for opening the question of intrinsic incompatibility between the project of a classless society and the institution of art. In regards to this, article discusses contemporary practice of Yugoslav mass songs as practiced by self-organized choirs and their new political potential.

 

Article received: May 6, 2017; Article accepted: May 14, 2017; Published online: September 15, 2017

Original scholarly paper

How to cite this article: Atanasovski, Srđan. "Socialism or Art: Yugoslav Mass Song and Its Institutionalizations." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 13 (2017): 31-42. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i13.185


Keywords


mass song, socialist realism, partisan art, canonization, amateurism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i13.185

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