Unveiling personal memories on war and detention

Documenta

With the project "Unveiling personal memories on war and detention" our intention is to affirm the personal memories of all interested witness of historical events in Croatia and to preserve them from oblivion. We believe that by recording and transmission of subjective peoples experiences is possible to reach a deeper insight into the seemingly hidden aspects of political turmoil and armed conflicts that occurred in this region. Our goal is to encourage and strengthen personal and social processes of coping with the past which is a necessary precondition for building sustainable peace and stability in society. In the beginning of 2006. Documenta began collecting personal memories using the oral history method. In that year we have recorded the memories of people from the area of Slavonia, which were partially published in the book “Memories of War in Pakarac, Lipik and surrounding areas”. Within the "Unveiling personal memories on war and detention" that started in 2010. we started recording personal memories throughout Croatia and so far we've recorded about 250 people from all parts of Croatia. Our aim is to collect 500 video recordings of personal memories from all over Croatia. We want to hear and preserve personal memories in order to highlight the importance of individual war experiences and document the various war related events, promote the memory and telling the truth and ensure that the memories are preserved for the future as an archival material. We want to initiate and strengthen personal and social processes of coping with the past, which are important prerequisites for building sustainable peace and social stability. The objective of this project is to create a platform for victims and witnesses of history in order to affirm the personal memories and thus preserve them for future generations. In addition, the platform will be a place where victims of war and the general public with an interest in Croatia's history can access the recorded interviews. This will contribute to the restoration of self-esteem and social and personal progress. By presenting different narratives about the war and political conflict, our intention is to contribute to the growing social awareness of the importance of respecting human rights and minority rights through the increased visibility of minority narratives. At the same time, by using this method, we believe we can contribute to the recognition of oral history as a serious tool for research in history and other academic disciplines. Our goal is to strengthen the position of the Croatian institutions in the field of human rights documentation and research. We use a semi-structured interviews to record peoples memories in a form of video clips that will be available on the platform www.croatianmemories.org. Documenta's associates (volunteers) which record people's memories offer them different options of the confidentiality degree of recorded material.

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