Symbols of the Lost Past project

A three-day training started as part of the “Symbols of the Lost Past” project, which aims to build a different culture of memory and build peace in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region.

Through the “Symbols of the Lost Past” project, we are creating a space to hear the voices of women who participated in the war as soldiers, women victims of wartime sexual violence, women who raised their voices against the war and children born of war, in order to transmit the culture of memory, prevent forgetting, and encourage young people to learn, remember and think critically. The concept of culture of memory can be defined as a set of mechanisms and processes by which society transmits, shapes and maintains events from the past, and in this way creates a foundation on the basis of which the present is interpreted and the future is created.

The topics we covered in the training are communication, violence and understanding of conflicts, identity and diversity, all through interactive exercises that show us the importance of agreement and support within the team. The training participants are students of the University of Sarajevo and East Sarajevo.

The culture of memory / remembrance is reflected in the way society remembers and transmits historical events, ideas and realities to future generations. Although the culture of memory is terminologically associated with the past, it actually represents the basis of understanding the present and building the society of the future.

Through interactive exercises “Heroes”; “Past narratives” and the search for an “inner safe place” we explore, discover and learn about ourselves and our actions in society. The art of memory refers to the individual and provides them with techniques with the help of which they can improve their memory, and refers to individual capacity. With the culture of memory, on the other hand, it is about fulfilling a social obligation, which refers to the group. This is about the question “What must we not forget?” This question goes with every group. Where this question is central and where it determines the identity and self-understanding of a group, we can speak of a “community of memory”, that is, a culture of memory that is connected to “memory that creates a community”.

The goal of the Culture of Memory program is to familiarize with memory policies, practices of marking places of suffering and commemorative culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region, and to encourage public dialogue about it.