Balkan.Perspectives #21

Exhibiting the Past – Western Balkans’ Museums and Dealing with the Past

The 21st Balkan.Perspectives edition focuses on the museological landscapes in Bosnia and Hercegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Serbia. This edition seeks to discuss the respective cultures of remembrance of the violent dissolution of Yugoslavia, and their representation in the museums of the region. The articles and podcasts scrutinize museums as sites of remembrance, memorialization, and dealing with the past. However, museums are part of a discursive creation of history and thereby, constitute places of memory and history creation. Museums are not neutral and do not reflect objective realities. They are also agents within a dynamic set of processes in the context of nation building, contested histories, and the respective narratives. Therefore, this edition, with the authors and guests in the podcasts seeks to contribute to critical and diverse perspectives and approaches on the roles and functions of museums in the region, within the context of Dealing with the Past.

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Hence, this edition collects various stances on museums and dealing with the past in the Western Balkans: Melina Sadiković’s contribution from Bosnia and Herzegovina outlines the connections between memory, time, and place, and sets the framework for the article of historian Elma Hašimbegović. Mrs Hašimbegović discusses in her article the power(lessness) of museums as societal actors for positive change in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kosovo’s contributions to this edition include an article from Shkëlzen Gashi, who visited the museum in commemoration of the massacre of the Berisha family in Suharekë and thereby, reviews Kosovo’s museum landscape. On the other side, Nita Luci and Linda Gusia present their work with the Hertica Family School House and their project on a Virtual Reality Museum within the premises of the parallel school system in Kosovo. Ivana Hadzievska from North Macedonia discusses in her article the Macedonian museological landscape and practical questions. From Serbia, this Balkan.Perspectives edition features Ana Knežević’s article on the work of the Museum of African Art in Belgrade and the period of the 1990s. In her contribution, Nela Tonković analyses the challenges faced with foundation of the “Staro Sajmište” Memorial Centre.

This edition also includes a new Balkan.Perspectives Podcast series. As usual, you can listen and download the podcasts via our website or via your preferred streaming service like Spotify, Google Podcast, or Apple Podcast. We would like to thank our partners, the production team behind and in front of the microphones and our guests who contributed to the podcasts. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, we thank Oslobođenje KUN, Đorđe Krajišnik, Mladen Banjac and Elma Hodžić. In Kosovo, we thank the Centre for Narrative Practice, TILLT Radio, Aulonë Kadriu and Nora Prekazi. In North Macedonia, we thank Radio MOF and Blagoja Varoshanec. In Serbia, we thank the radio show Ženergija on Radio Aparat and Ana Panic

The Balkan.Perspectives editorial team wishes you a pleasant read of the articles, analysis, and podcasts.

On behalf of the editorial team
Alexander Vojvoda


Balkan.Perspectives Podcast

The Balkan Perspectives podcast is forumZFD’s audio format on Dealing with the Past and Peace Education in the Western Balkans. The podcast is produced in four languages (Albanian, BHCS, Macedonian and English) by the forumZFD offices in Bosnia and Hercegovina, […]

Museums “in waiting”

The intensive geopolitical, social, and cultural changes that have marked the last two decades of the turbulent 20th century and the equally dynamic and dramatic start of the 21st century have followed closely the rapid development of information and communication […]

Impressum 21 – 11/2022

Editor in Chief: Alexander Vojvoda

Editorial Team: Sunita Dautbegović-Bošnjaković, Martin Filipovski, Ana Pejović

Authors: Shkëlzen Gashi, Linda Gusia, Ivana Hadzievska, Elma Hašimbegović, Ana Knežević, Nita Luci, Melina Sadiković, Nela Tonković

Podcasts: Bosnia and Hercegovina: Đorđe Krajišnik, Oslobođenje KUN, Mladen Banjac and Elma Hodžić Kosovo: TILLT Radio, Aulonë Kadriu and Nora Prekazi North Macedonia: Radio MOF and Blagoja Varoshanec Serbia: radio show Ženergija on Radio Aparat and Ana Panic

Design (Cover page): Envinion

Translation: LBG Communications (Albanian), Luna Đorđević (BHCS), Martina Kimovska (Macedonian)

Proofreading: LBG Communications (Albanian/English), Zinaida Lakić (BHCS), Zanet Ristoska (Macedonian)