In Memory of Marina Blagojević Hughson – Sanela Bajramović

I am truly saddened to hear about Marina’s passing. Even though I have had the privilege to meet Marina Blagojević Hughson in person, I knew her best through her inspiring and bold work on the semi-periphery. Discovering the theory of semiperipherality was an eye-opening experience helping me immensely to understand the empirical material I was dealing with in my PhD project. Being both activist and an excellent scholar, Blagojević Hughson possessed great knowledge about the Former Yugoslav area and its specifities. She passed some of that historically much valuable knowledge on to the world by emphasizing the uniqeness of the experiences of people in the semi-periphery as well as tenaciously defending their right to produce knowledge about themselves. What I know for sure, is that Blagojević Hughson gave some of us the courage to sharpen our analysis of the relations between the centre and the semi-periphery without losing the sight of the importance of a thorough contextualization.

Na kraju, ono na čemu sam osobno kao feministica koja je, potekla sa poluperiferije (ali u kojoj ne živim) i, kao što je i sama Marina napisala u Poluperiferija i rod: Pobuna konteksta, „koja je ujedno i moja inspiracija i laboratorija“ zahvalna Marini na isticanju postojanja mnoštva feminizama. To je jako važna polazna tačka ako smo kao naučnici zaista zainteresirani da razumijemo historijske aktere koje studiramo. Za uspijeh feminističkog/ih pokreta, pogotovo onog globalnog, priznavanje razlika i dijalog izmedju feminizama u različitim dijelovima svijeta, je naprosto nužnost. U svojim tridesetim godinama, radeći na doktorskoj disertaciji počela sam se upoznavati sa historijom ženskog aktivizma i pokreta na prostoru bivše Jugoslavije. Rezultat je bio feminističko sazrijevanje, proces koji naravno još uvijek traje. Da je bitno „where we find feminism“ i „from whom we find feminism“ piše i Sara Ahmed u knjizi Living a Feminist Life. U čast Marini, ovu poruku završavam jednom od poučnih citata iz pomenute knjige:

„It is important that I learned this feminist lesson from my auntie in Lahore, Pakistan, a Muslim woman, a Muslim feminist, a brown feminist. It might be assumed that feminism travels from West to East. It might be assumed that feminism is what the West gives to the East. That assumption is a travelling assumption, one that tells a feminist story in a certain way, a story that is much repeated; a history of how feminism acquired utility as an imperial gift. That is not my story. We need to tell other feminist stories. Feminism travelled to me, growing up in the West, from the East. My Pakistani aunties taught me that my mind is my own […] they taught me to speak up for myself; to speak out against violence and injustice.“ (Ahmed, 2017, p. 4-5)

Sanela Bajramović

PhD in History and Senior Lecturer in Education

Örebro University, Sweden

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