“We’re Not Invisible…We’re In Second Place” Disrupting Thus Connecting Transnational Gender Narratives Within Veterans Studies

Authors: {'first_name': 'Charles O.', 'last_name': 'Warner III'}


In this short video contribution, I share and explore an insight emerging from ongoing ethnographic fieldwork in Southeast Europe. This fieldwork is part of a broader anthropological research project alongside combat veterans from a number of nationalities (and ethnicities) in Former Yugoslavia, including Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Kosovo. The brief video accompanying this abstract opens with a series of portraits of women war veterans from Croatia (who served in the Croatian War of Independence between 1991–1995 and beyond) in order to center the voices that inform this contribution. This format also foregrounds a discussion that questions the seemingly default or generalized usage of the “invisibility” trope within academic narratives that seek to reflect and represent women veterans and their socio-political realities; transnationally and cross-culturally. It is demonstrated that the invisibility trope is not universally embraced or acknowledged by women veterans and as such, the trope must be more carefully developed and deployed within the field of veterans studies. Recognition of this need to disrupt and adjust tropes that emerge from North Atlantic-centric research facilitates present-day reflexivity as well as future efforts toward a decolonized/decentered field of study.

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Keywords: women veteransveterans studiesSoutheast Europeethnographygenderconversationsvideo 
 Accepted on 16 Nov 2021            Submitted on 12 Nov 2021

Competing Interests

The author has no competing interests to declare.