This introductory chapter pursues the main question of the book: How might we capture the performative power implicit in processes of turning the impossibility of mourning into an incalculable political potentiality that deconstitutes its interpellating terms and contests state-nationalist authoritarianism? It outlines the challenge that the critical methodology of a feminist political movement in post-Yugoslavia presents for the available theoretical and political vocabularies of agonism. Through an anthropological account of the urban feminist and antinationalist movement Women in Black of Belgrade (Žene u Crnom), the Introduction addresses the ways these activists, by engaging in practices of undoing grief as feminine and national language, open onto spaces for challenging conventional divisions between the affective and the political, between the political and the performative, as well as between body and language.
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