'Lego Kalashnikov'

While opinions are divided whether the origins of nationalism are a modern phenomenon or have much older roots, the consensus is that the rise and spread of it as a political mobilizing ideology, aims to create or expand a nation.

Nationalists use myths, symbols, customs, memories and beliefs to bind members of an ethnic community and establish a unique identity of the nation as the legitimate grounds of its political sovereignty. In this way the loyalty of its citizens is secured which in turn reinforces the supposed natural existence of its cultural and political borders. By creating such an overarching community, a collective identity is created which in a lot of cases is so potent that those involved would willingly giver their lives for it in battle.

The research for ‘Lego Kalashnikov’ started out with a dive into my personal history after being triggered by the Croatian football player who sang a nationalistic song at the 2018 world cup heroes welcome. A crowd of half a million Croats cheered.

For me (who also cheered for ‘my country’) it was a rude awakening. It saddened me that the nations war ridden past seeps into every crevice of society so freely and unapologetically. What followed was an exploration of how I experienced the formation of ‘us and them’ throughout my childhood, and how I experience them still... More updates on this project coming soon!

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