Panel Antifascism, Gender, and Higher Education

On the 9th of May 2024, a compelling online panel convened to delve into the intricate intersections of “Antifascism, Gender, and Higher Education,” commemorating the International Day against Fascism and Europe Day. Hosted by esteemed personalities and experts in the field, the event provided a platform for critical discourse on pressing socio-political issues.

The panelists, each bringing a unique perspective to the table, included Ivana Pantelić, a distinguished historian and researcher from Belgrade; Andrea Matošević, a renowned professor from Pula; and Professor Zlatiborka Popov Momčinović, from Istočno Sarajevo. Guiding the discussion was the proficient journalist Nikola Vučić, whose moderation ensured a balanced exchange of ideas.

The proceedings commenced with a thought-provoking presentation by Andrea Matošević, who explored the concept of proto-antifascism and its correlation with masculinity. Delving into historical contexts, Matošević laid the groundwork for a nuanced understanding of antifascist movements and their implications on contemporary gender dynamics. Following Matošević’s insightful presentation, the focus shifted to the heroic endeavors of partisan women in the Balkan region, presented as a testament to the enduring legacy of resistance against fascist ideologies. This segment, rich with historical anecdotes and contemporary relevance, underscored the pivotal role played by women in shaping antifascist narratives.

The panel reached its crescendo with Professor Zaltiborka’s poignant analysis of the modern-day challenges to antifascist ideals, particularly in the context of rising ethnonationalism. Drawing upon real-life examples from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zlatiborka shed light on the alarming trend of antifascist principles being supplanted by divisive ideologies, posing a grave threat to societal cohesion and progress.

Throughout the discussion, a recurring theme emerged: the concerning shift observed among younger generations in higher education towards conservatism and a propensity to disengage from their antifascist heritage. This trend, while multifaceted in nature, underscores the imperative for concerted efforts in education and advocacy to safeguard the values of inclusivity, tolerance, and social justice.

In conclusion, the online panel served as a poignant reminder of the ongoing struggle against fascism and the imperative for collective action in safeguarding democratic principles. By confronting the challenges at the intersection of antifascism, gender, and higher education, the event provided a catalyst for introspection and advocacy, signaling hope for a more just and equitable future.