Sept. 12: Personal Memories of War and Detention in Croatia from 1941 until Today: Making Private Experiences Public as a Means of Mobilizing Support and Developing Understanding


Thursday, Sept. 12

509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd St.

6:30-8:30 PM

This workshop will focus on the “Unveiling Personal Memories of War and Detention in Croatia from 1941 until the Present” project. The aim of the project is to affirm the personal memories of witnesses and protagonists of historical events and preserve them from permanent loss. Marić proposes that strengthening personal and social processes of dealing with the past is a necessary precondition for building sustainable peace and stability in Croatian society and developing a tradition of democratic values, especially human rights. In this talk she uses the work of Documenta, a human rights organization focused on dealing with the past, to ask if and how oral history can be used as a means of social change.

The project is based in a hope that revealing the suffering of one's neighbour or people from other parts of the country, especially those of different ethnic backgrounds, might stimulate debate within local communities and contribute to establishing dialogue between different social groups. The project aims to use innovative information and communication technologies in order to make these personal narratives accessible and searchable via the internet for a wide range of audiences, as well as to serve as a basis for different artistic, educational, documentary and research projects. In this talk, Marić will discuss the challenges and possibilities of presenting video testimonies to both the public and the scientific communities.

Co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights

Darija Marić is a sociologist who has been working at Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past since 2009. Currently she is coordinating field research for the project “Unveiling Personal Memories on War and Detention from 1941 until today.” The project includes the creation of a collection of 400 video-recorded testimonies on a wide range of war experiences in Croatia with the use of oral history as a method to collect and open up individual memories on past traumatic events from a wide range of perspectives, including those of minorities, victims, women, war veterans, etc.  Prior to this, Ms. Marić worked in Documenta as a coordinator of consultative process in Croatia of Initiative for RECOM, the Regional Commission Tasked with Establishing the Facts about All Victims of War Crimes and Other Serious Human Rights Violations Committed on the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia from 1991-2001. She is currently a fellow in the Columbia University Institute for the Study of Human Rights Historical Dialogue and Accountability Fellowship Program.