Emotional geographies of carceral spaces: the legacy of Goli Otok

Policek, Nicoletta ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5788-4869 (2017) Emotional geographies of carceral spaces: the legacy of Goli Otok. In: 2nd International Conference for Carceral Geography, 11-12 December 2017, University of Birmingham, UK. (Unpublished) Full text not available from this repository.

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Almost hidden in the Northern Adriatic Sea, rests Goli Otok, the Naked Island, as it is often known. Here the Tito regime created a brutal and repressive apparatus in the format of a penal colony, from which they passed, between 1949 and 1959, some 30,000 prisoners – it is estimated that 4,000 inmates died on the island. In essence, the entire island was officially made into a high-security, top secret prison and labor camp run by the authorities of FPR Yugoslavia, and it was used to incarcerate political prisoners. These included known and alleged Stalinists, but also other Communist Party members or even non-party citizens accused of exhibiting sympathy or leanings towards the Soviet Union. Many anti-communist (Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Albanian and Italian nationals) were also incarcerated on Goli Otok, together with non-political prisoners sent to the island to serve out criminal sentences or sentenced to death. Against a geopolitical backdrop which highlights issues pertaining to surveillance in post-communist societies, the first part of this contribution assesses some of the key methodological issues relating to the unfolding of the discoursive legacy of truth telling when conversing with former inmates who, many years after their release, are still feeling under surveillance and incarcerated by the now defunct regime. Subsequently, this contribution aims to support the testimony of the Goli Otok’s ghosts – as defined by a former inmate – through the interpretative remainder of autobiographical novels and memoirs written by those who have been imprisoned at Goli Otok. The concluding section of this contribution, revisits some of the difficulties experienced by former inmates when attempting to escape material and emotional carcerality. The analytical model proposed in this contribution forms part of a wider discussion tackling the virtuosity of justice, with its arduous task of deconstructing the experience of violence both conceptually and with regard to lived carceral experiences.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Departments: Academic Departments > Business, Law, Policing & Social Sciences (BLPSS) > Policing, Criminology & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Nicoletta Policek
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2017 16:25
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 19:00
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3485
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