My process of remembering

It is really hard for me to invoke one particular memory that would be significant as either specific (in a one-of-a-kind, aberrant way) or representative of my childhood in a broader sense. The reason is: when I try to think of something that might be interesting to other people who do not share my background, my mind instinctively goes towards memories that involve Yugoslav wars and might be termed 'traumatic' (both of my grandparents had to flee their houses that were burnt to ground, my uncle was imprisoned and tortured, I was separated from my parents for a couple of years etc). However, although these memories come in abundance, I do not feel they represent my childhood or the memory of my childhood (if the two can ever be distinguished) in a fair way. That is to say, I remember my childhood through more positive, colourful tones: friends, games, school, cartoons, books, candies... (my favourite popular example here is Anne Frank's diary which, in the midst of terrible violent events that stand as its background, as the most important notes things such as first love, games with cousins, collection of the cards of famous actors etc.). This leads to another problem that emerges here - the relationship between private and collective/political. For example, one of my most intense childhood memories (the one that regularly and frequently comes back to me) is my father buying me a fluffy toy. The reason I remember it is because that was one of the rare moments he expressed his affection towards me. (The toy was the only one I kept for years, it was falling apart, and my mom had to sew it several times). However, this memory has to do primarily with my relationship with my father, that is both private (i.e. awkward or even unpleasant to share) and probably not that interesting to people who do not know me. In other words, my most vivid childhood memory has nothing to do with the Cold war, socialism, postsocialism, transition, Yugoslav wars, the rise of nationalism etc. At the same time, this memory is extremely political, as it touches upon the conditions of paternal male bonding in patriarchal society, that is greatly represented by Croatia in the 1990s. So, in brief, these are the reasons why, instead of offering one concrete memory, I made this reflection on the process through which my remembering goes in the context of this project.