Perspectives - The Past is now

Politics of Denial and Dealing with the Past in the Western Balkans
For free

The Belgrade and Sarajevo offices of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, together
with our editor Miloš Ćirić, have invited relevant voices to reflect on what was
achieved over the past decades in the fields of documentation, memorialization, and
processing of recent history. We wanted to learn which actors and factors determine
the cultural context, who could deconstruct the hate narratives, how nationalism
affects the culture of remembrance in the respective societies, and why the most
brutal of experiences did not lead to a better understanding of common history
in the region. In this volume, the role of the external actors is also critically questioned: what were Western donors able to achieve? Why has dealing with history never become mainstream despite the efforts of many brave, consistent and professional individuals? Is there even a need for a moratorium on dealing with the past so that new spaces for peaceful coexistence can emerge?

Product details
Date of Publication
hbs Sarajevo, hbs Belgrade
Number of Pages
Language of publication
Table of contents

2 unclosed chapters of the past
Nino Lejava
3 facing the past in the post-Yugoslav space
Tamara Šmidling
9 the past is still someone’s present
Vildana Selimbegović
14 why the facts matter
Bekim Blakaj
17 Serbia: nationalism without alternative and politics of memory without self-reflection
Milivoj Bešlin
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina: three decades of facing the past
Lejla Gačanica
23 Croatia: facts about the past in the shadow of victorious narratives
Branka Vierda
26 Kosovo: wartime memories challenged by the courts
Una Hajdari
29 Montenegro: is there anything to remember at all?
Miloš Vukanović
33 North Macedonia: amnesty and silence around the 2001 insurgency
Prof. dr Irena Stefoska
36 towards politics of hope: an interview with Orli Fridman
Miloš Ćirić
40 the case of Prijedor: struggle for victims’ recognition
Edin Ramulić
43 decades of women-led initiatives for peace
Marijana Stojčić
46 the media: from tools of war to vehicles of denial
Dinko Gruhonjić
50 efforts to deconstruct the hateful narratives
Aleksandra Bosnić Đurić
53 the war in the classrooms
Srđan Milošević, Aleksandar R. Miletić
56 imposition of legal standards and their sustainability
Selma Korjenić, Ajna Mahmić
59 a critique of western-funded memorialization initiatives in the Balkans
Jasmin Mujanović
62 the clash of the myths
Mirko Medenica
66 on populism and historical revisionism
Thomas Schad
70 the future without remembrance
Dragan Markovina