chapter  7
Pages 25

A tall, long-haired young man with an earring, dressed in a pink T-shirt and washed-out jeans, a sort of ‘egoless’ identity, one you would expect to see with a Nintendo glove and virtual-reality goggles, was singing the Croatian national anthem. There was nothing unusual about the audience sitting mainly on the floor of the middle-class suburban living room, the morning after the celebrations of the twenty-first birthday, watching the video of the ‘party last night’. Nothing unusual; in fact, most of the young people were pale with visible signs of hangovers, but they were wearing white T-shirts with the Croatian emblem and ‘Stop the War in Croatia’ written across their chests. The young woman whose birthday had been celebrated 1 noticed my long glance over her T-shirt, and proudly ironed out the creases with the palm of her hand, asking me:

V.(A): Do you like it? My aunt, who came for my birthday from Melbourne, brought me one as a present. The others she had for sale were sold in an instant. You see there are no adult sizes in Perth to buy. Just for kids. They are all sold out, but if you really want it, I can ask her to send you one…

What we see here is a public discursive performance, a public staging of the self that is part of the activation of a particular framework in which being ‘a good Croatian’ means displaying Croatian colours on every possible occasion.