How do conflicts from the past shape our lives? Can a region ever be at peace when various factions constantly fight over the interpretation of history? Is moving forward possible at all when the tensions of yesterday are still present in daily life? These issues are of crucial importance in the Western Balkans.
While historical developments after 1989 meant a break with the past, often followed by a national reawakening and a positive redefinition for many Central and Eastern European countries, the transition process of former Yugoslavia resulted in violence. The aftermath of the wars from 1991 to 2001 affect the region until today. How did the population deal with the traumatic experiences of ethnic cleansing and war crimes? Can a transition to peaceful democracy take place successfully when there is no consensus about how to interpret and deal with the past?
We approach these contested memories and experiences of individuals by looking at objects, which tell their stories. Relicts of the past constantly surround us and carry the memories of our personal histories. It is these objects, which make the legacies and the very personal stories of transition tangible. In these objects, history lives on.
We filter the stories from the objects and transform objects and stories into a performance, which brings a patchwork of controversial memories to the stage.
Caroline Gritschke and Ivor Martinić
Caroline Gritschke is a historian and educator, interested in migration and transnational history. In the regional history museum Haus der Geschichte Baden-Württemberg she focuses on participatory projects by working together with artists, pupils, migrant activists and refugees.
Image Credits: © Körber-Stiftung