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War rape in Bosnia highlighted by Skjelsbæk book and Jolie’s directorial debut

The use of rape in war and the effects it has on its victims are explored by Inger Skjelsbæk in his book The Political Psychology of War Rape, which specifically examines the case of Bosnia. It provides a framework for understanding the use of sexual violence in war, and how individual experiences are shaped by national and international discourses.

Skjelsbæk’s book provides an excellent basis for understanding the complex topics in the controversy surrounding Angelina Jolie’s new film In the Land of Blood and Honey, offering an outline of the subject from a political-psychological perspective.

As this book and Jolie’s directorial debut show, this subject is now emerging into mainstream public discourse, but remains controversial in the press due to the sensitivity of its subject matter. In the Land of Blood and Honey is a love story set during the Bosnian War of the 1990s, which deals with the horrors that occurred at that time, including war rape, described by the United Nations as ‘a weapon of war and a form of ethnic cleansing’. The film has generally been well received, particularly by many of the women who were victims of war rape in Bosnia at that time. In a December film review in The Guardian, Valerie Hopkins explains that many victims are pleased that Jolie is bringing the matter to the fore, where it was previously swept under the carpet, ensuring that governments can no longer ignore its legacy.


In the Land of Blood and Honey is released in February 2012

Related Products

  1. The Political Psychology of War Rape

    Studies from Bosnia and Herzegovina

    By Inger Skjelsbæk

    Series: War, Politics and Experience

    This book provides a conceptual framework for understanding war rape and its impact, through empirical examination of the case of Bosnia. Providing a contextual understanding of sexual violence in war, and situating Bosnian war rape in relation to subsequent conflicts, the book offers a...

    Published September 16th 2011 by Routledge