(srpski) Digitalni narativ: Operacija skrivanja tela

(srpski) Digitalni narativ: Operacija skrivanja tela

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The Fifth Regional School of Transitional Justice is now over

The Fifth Regional School of Transitional Justice is now over

TJS-thumb-enFrom December 6 to 10, 2021, the Fifth Regional School of Transitional Justice took place, organised by the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC). The lectures were held online this year.

This year’s School was attended by 19 students from Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. During 18 interactive sessions, the participants had the opportunity to listen to lectures on various aspects of transitional justice, as well as to enter into discussions with the lecturers.

The first day of the School was dedicated to introducing participants to the concept and history of transitional justice, and the nature of the international criminal justice system, as well as the ideological preparation for the wars of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia. These topics were presented and discussed by Prof. Dr. Denisa Kostovicova, Olga Kavran, Dr. Ivan Jovanović and Prof. Dr. Dubravka Stojanović.


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Digital Narrative: Crimes against Croats in Vojvodina

Digital Narrative: Crimes against Croats in Vojvodina

Digitalni-narativ-slika-enThe Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) published its fifth digital narrative, “Crimes against Croats in Vojvodina”. The narrative is created on the basis of an Dossier, which HLC publicly presented in January 2019.

In the period 1991-1995, in the territory of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, there was a campaign of pressure and intimidation directed against the Croatian population, with the aim to force them to leave their homes, and Serbia as well. The campaign, the intensity of which varied, reaching its highest peaks in the second half of 1991, from spring to autumn 1992, and in the summer of 1995, resulted in the expulsion of several tens of thousands of Croats from Vojvodina. Violence against Croats in Vojvodina included attacks on their private property and religious buildings, as well as threats, physical attacks and murders.

During the 1990s, the Humanitarian Law Center continuously collected statements and reported on the pressures to which the Croatian population in Serbia was exposed. Part of that archive has now been made available to the public.

The digital narrative is available at the following link.

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Memory Politics of the 1990s Wars in Serbia: Historical Revisionism and Challenges of Memory Activism

Memory Politics of the 1990s Wars in Serbia: Historical Revisionism and Challenges of Memory Activism

politike-secanja-enSince 2012, when the Serbian Progressive Party came to power, the wars of the 1990s became the focal point of the official memory politics and crucial for the political legitimacy of the SNS government. The populist discourse of the return of the national pride is central to state-sponsored memory work, arguing that the previous governments and international community coerced the Serbian nation to feel ashamed about its heroes and victims of the 1990s wars. The current regime uses the fact that the previous governments did not focus on the 1990s in their memory politics as a demarcation line and source of legitimacy. Because of the SNS and their political allies, the Serbian people are finally allowed and able, as the dominant narrative claims, to remember their heroes and victims with pride. The government builds its political legitimacy on its commitment to the industry of memory, which involves large-scale commemorations, usage of media technologies, cultural production and new ways of disseminating the dominant narratives.

This paper analyses the memory politics of the 1990s wars and outlines the problem of historical revisionism in contemporary Serbia from the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević until today. The first section of the paper offers an overview of the memory of the 1990s wars during the first decade after the fall of Milošević. The expectations from the democratic changes quickly turned into disappointment as the new state authorities showed the lack of willingness to confront the questions of guilt and responsibility of Serbia and its forces during the 1990s wars. Various patterns of denial and relativisations are analysed. The central part of the paper focuses on the period since 2012 and populist state-sponsored memory politics. To facilitate a better understanding of the war narratives, commemorative practices and the emergence of the 1990s wars in official memory politics, the paper explains the main characteristics of populist memory politics. The paper proceeds to analyse the interpretation of the 1990s as liberation wars, the national program of commemorations and the industry of memory, focusing mainly on Operation Storm, the Kosovo war and NATO bombing of Yugoslavia as the focal points of official memory politics. The final section concludes with a brief outlook on memory activism and its challenges in facing the industry of memory from above.

The paper “Memory Politics of the 1990s Wars in Serbia: Historical Revisionism and Challenges of Memory Activism” is available here.

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Invitation for the discussion “Memory politics of the 1990s Wars in Serbia: Historical Revisionism and Challenges of Memory Activism”

Invitation for the discussion “Memory politics of the 1990s Wars in Serbia: Historical Revisionism and Challenges of Memory Activism”

politike-secanja-thumb-enHumanitarian Law Center invites you to attend the discussion “Memory politics of the 1990s Wars in Serbia: Historical Revisionism and Challenges of Memory Activism” and the promotion of the same-titled publication by the HLC. The discussion will take place on Tuesday, 26 October 2021, at 18:00  in the Great Hall of the Media Center in Belgrade (Terazije 3, II floor), with live stream on our Facebook page. Simultaneous translation into English provided for attendances in the Media Center.

Since 2012, when the Serbian Progressive Party came to power, the wars of the 1990s became the focal point of the official memory politics and crucial for the political legitimacy of the SNS government. The populist discourse of the return of the national pride is central to state-sponsored memory work, arguing that the previous governments and international community coerced the Serbian nation to feel ashamed about its heroes and victims of the 1990s wars. The current regime uses the fact that the previous governments did not focus on the 1990s in their memory politics as a demarcation line and source of legitimacy. Because of the SNS and their political allies, the Serbian people are finally allowed and able, as the dominant narrative claims, to remember their heroes and victims with pride. The government builds its political legitimacy on its commitment to the industry of memory, which involves large-scale commemorations, usage of media technologies, cultural production and new ways of disseminating the dominant narratives.


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Storm in The Hague

Storm in The Hague

Oluja_u_Hagu-srA six-day social network campaign to commemorate civilians who perished during and in the aftermath of “Operation Storm” in the summer of 1995 will be launched on August 4th, 2021.

The campaign, based on the video excerpts from the interactive narrative “Storm in The Hague” produced by SENSE, will be managed by SENSE – Center for Transitional Justice, Serb National Council, Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past, and Humanitarian Law Center (Serbia). A number of other civil society organizations from the region will join.


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Digital archive collection – “Crimes in Foča in 1992”

Digital archive collection – “Crimes in Foča in 1992”

ThDAK-Foca-ene Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) presents the first digital archive collection “Crimes in Foča in 1992”.

The digital collection contains judgments, videos, exhibits and other materials collected from court databases and the HLC archives. The aim of the collection is to present and document in a comprehensive way the war crimes against the Bosniak population of Foča committed at the beginning of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

When Foča fell under Serb forces’ control at the end of April 1992, members of the forces arrested non-Serb civilians and took them to detention facilities. A special target of the attack were Bosniak women and girls, many of whom were held in sexual slavery in several detention facilities, where they were raped, tortured and otherwise abused and humiliated.


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