MEMORY INSTITUTIONS - a project that critically questions the purpose, role, and impact of memory institutions on society, through the analysis of ideology and the success and failure of the work of memory institutions in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.
The project sets up a framework for high school students to critically examine the ideological, daily functioning of institutions of memory and their creation of historical narrative. The importance of memory institutions in the contemporary social and political context is demonstrated through their construction of collective memory and presentations of ‘official history’ which they use to occupy a crucial role in the symbolic center of the nation. The post-conflict and post-socialist context of Croatia contributed to enhancing intolerance, hatred, and misunderstanding towards memory of past polities, social and political governance organizations, and minority social groups. Influenced by the works of historian Pierre Nora, sociologist Maurice Halbwachs and anthropologist Paul Connerton we look at history and collective memory as one of the most important elements in the construction and homogenization of modern democratic communities and also in the negotiation of collective identities. Collective memory is established through the assumption that each social group develops the memory of its own past, it emphasizes the uniqueness of this community and achieves its own identity and image to be transmitted to future generations. Institutions of memory such as museums, archives, schools, or public service media are seen as places of gathering, storing, reinterpretation, and dissemination of public knowledge about past events and they are, as Pierre Nora would say, physical or imaginary spaces that can always be visited or re-visited in search of history and memory.
Given the absence of courses that deal with these questions, IM forwards democratic constructions of memory by promoting inclusiveness and equality, as opposed to hegemonic, one-sided, and ‘useful’ narratives.
The aim of the project is to STRENGTHEN high school students for active democratic participation, EDUCATE them about the multiple processes of constructing collective memory and history in post-conflict societies, and to RAISE awareness of marginalized social groups, collective forgetting and erasing their histories from dominant narratives.
By connecting institutions and organizations the project develops a long-term and sustainable cooperation network between teachers, scientists, and other professionals who approach the education of youth about questions and problems of social memory in an engaged and critical way.
The project partners are the Miroslav Kraljević Gallery and the 10th Ivan Supek grammar school, with which a workshop on institutions of memory and architecture was held for the students of the school under the expert guidance of the members of the association.
Gallery Miroslav Kraljević g-mk
Ministry of Culture and Media
City of Zagreb - City Office for Education, Culture and Sports