NARRATIONS OF FEAR

The theme of fear is a frequent motif of various kinds of narrations, of popular culture and artistic practice. Fear can be sublime, fascinating. Due to this, the attractiveness of blood-curdling stories or films which become a synonym for the most frightening life situations is no surprise. Various types of narration and the figuration of fear are present in all cultures: from mythological stories and oral tradition and contemporary fairy tales; from fine arts to gothic novels to music, horror films and video games. The entertainment industry, along with other social and economic fields, is also fed by the contemporary fears and risks to which we are exposed.

The fear in narrations related to traditional culture is most clearly read in demonological legends: in myth, in oral traditions and literature which speak of supernatural, otherworldly beings and phenomena. In the foundation of these traditions is the need to show the extent to which this “other world”, inhabited by spectres and demons, is seeping into “our world.” The primary purpose of these narratives is the transfer of knowledge, in other words, the familiarisation with the system of cultural and social values of a community. The visible signs of the supernatural action can be achieved by magic, in other words, by a spell, and they can also be transmitted to dangerous places where impure forces are maintained, such as crossroads. The beings and phenomena which live in the beliefs of Istria are: štrige and štriguni, krsnici (who do good), more, mrtvi, orko… (various good and bad spirits and creatures) Their visibility is not so important as the fact itself that it is “known” that they exist. Under various names, these beings throughout history have inspired the cultures of civilisations, even to this today.

Global popular culture is interwoven into our everyday life. Horror stories, as one of the products of global pop culture, are an integral part of our cultural imagination and iconography.

Mora Miki. Nadan Rojnić – Biondo, oil on wood panel, 50×60, 2010.

Horror films, and not only them, invite us to dive into the endless depths of individual and collective fears. The structure of film and traditional narratives consist of the same or similar elements. And they are still tangible, universal human fears that are part of the world in which we live. And this world of ours, which is based on consumerism and a combination of digital media, has almost completely “tamed” this “other world”, inhabited by mythical supernatural beings, by transforming it gradually into a product. Reality – the informative, media, the everyday – becomes the fertile ground for new horror.



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