The Center for Public History organized in Belgrade an educational module on the culture of memory – “Mapping Places of Memory in Cities in Serbia” for civil society organizations and activists from Pancevo, Zrenjanin, Zajecar, Krusevac, Belgrade, Novi Sad and Leskovac.
During the 3 days of the program (29/30. November – 1. December 2019), participants had the opportunity to become familiar with the theory and practice of culture of memory, both in Serbia and in other post-conflict societies, with a particular focus on lessons learned from the experience of others. The topics covered by this module concerned the culture and politics of memory, the social functions of memory and forgetting, the role of memory in constructions of collective identity (especially national), narratives, constructive and destructive models of relations to the past, politics and practices of memorialization with a focus on Serbia and the region. Participants were encouraged not only to critically reflect on existing memorialization practices, but also to seek and define new, alternative approaches.
The module program consisted of a lecture by historian Michael Antolovic on historical memory and public history; historian Milovan Pisarri and sociologist Marijana Stojcic about the process of dealing with the past in Italy and Germany; historian Mariana Toma on transitional justice and dealing with the past in Serbia; Marijana Stojcic on the politics of remembrance, and the educational workshops of anthropologist Tamara Smidling – places of remembrance – what is being forgotten in our society?
In the coming period, participants will map marked and unmarked places of remembrance in local communities, and all mapping results will be presented in Belgrade in March 2020.
The project is supported by the Open Society Foundation, and is part of the CPH program under which the CPH team, along with local partners, will map places of memory in Serbia that testify about the ’90s.