Event Title

The memory of Srebrenica: a view from Serbia

Start Date

9-8-2010 1:30 PM

End Date

9-8-2010 3:00 PM

Description

Srebrenica, previously a small unknown town in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina, has become a symbol for the return of genocide to Europe and for the failure of international politics. The premeditated murder of thousands of men and boys before the eyes of the ‘protective troops’ of the United Nations in July 1995, raised challenges and moral dilemmas for the international community as well as for local actors in the former Yugoslavia.

Fifteen years after these horrific events, in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Serbia, debates are still ongoing: while the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has recognized the Srebrenica massacre as Genocide, official Serbia has denied since then the actual events and contested the numbers of the victims. In March 2010, the Serbian parliament has adopted a declaration condemning the crimes committed in Srebrenica, however refraining from the use of the term genocide.

This paper will trace the debates in Serbia about the memory of the 1995 crimes committed in Srebrenica. More specifically, it will place these debates in the context of social memory studies, as the collective memories of the Balkan wars of the 1990s are currently being created and negotiated in Serbia.

By discussing the gap between official and popular discourses of denial, and discourses promoted by civil society, this paper will analyze the debates over the memory of Srebrenica and of the wars of the 1990s as taking place today in Serbia. The paper will analyze the role of anti-war groups in Serbia in promoting the questions of responsibility and denial as well as in shaping collective memory in their society.

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Aug 9th, 1:30 PM Aug 9th, 3:00 PM

The memory of Srebrenica: a view from Serbia

Srebrenica, previously a small unknown town in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina, has become a symbol for the return of genocide to Europe and for the failure of international politics. The premeditated murder of thousands of men and boys before the eyes of the ‘protective troops’ of the United Nations in July 1995, raised challenges and moral dilemmas for the international community as well as for local actors in the former Yugoslavia.

Fifteen years after these horrific events, in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Serbia, debates are still ongoing: while the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has recognized the Srebrenica massacre as Genocide, official Serbia has denied since then the actual events and contested the numbers of the victims. In March 2010, the Serbian parliament has adopted a declaration condemning the crimes committed in Srebrenica, however refraining from the use of the term genocide.

This paper will trace the debates in Serbia about the memory of the 1995 crimes committed in Srebrenica. More specifically, it will place these debates in the context of social memory studies, as the collective memories of the Balkan wars of the 1990s are currently being created and negotiated in Serbia.

By discussing the gap between official and popular discourses of denial, and discourses promoted by civil society, this paper will analyze the debates over the memory of Srebrenica and of the wars of the 1990s as taking place today in Serbia. The paper will analyze the role of anti-war groups in Serbia in promoting the questions of responsibility and denial as well as in shaping collective memory in their society.