Panel 2: Landscapes of Repair: Contemporary Memorialisation Practices between Public and Private Spaces

13 July 2021 | 10.45 (CEST)

Facilitation: Korab Krasniqi (forumZFD Kosovo)


Dr Emily-Rose Baker (University of Sheffield)


Titled ‘For Those Who Can Tell No Tales: Memorial (Dis)Entanglements in Bosnia and Herzegovina’, this presentation builds a picture of the memorial landscape of contemporary Bosnia, and the entanglement of memories of Jewish suffering during the Holocaust with those of Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) suffering during the Bosnian genocide. Via an analysis of Jasmila Zbanic’s 2013 film For Those Who Tell No Tales, it exhibits the struggle for recognition of Bosniak memories of genocidal killing – and sexual violence in particular – on the one hand, and the recent literary and filmic attempts to foreground and disentangle the fate of Bosniaks from those of Jews on the other. I conclude by discussing the success of individual and organisational memory activists in the Western Balkan region, drawing connections between the memorial practices of Bosnia and Kosovo.

Fjollë Caka (South East European University)


Public space has long served for encouraging social and cultural exchange, but also as a domain for conveying power or opposing it. After the World War II, in Kosovo just as everywhere else in former Yugoslavia, many monuments were erected in urban public spaces to commemorate the fight against fascism, to celebrate victory, and to support the new nation building. With their unique and avantgarde styles – abstract and futuristic in shape, embedding deep symbolic and universal meanings – these monuments aimed at promoting respect, equality, commonality, and a shared identity among all the nations. However, following the 1990s wars and the fall of Yugoslavia, they lost their significance and have been abandoned. Once great city landmarks, today erased from history and urban landscapes, remnants of a forgotten past. This presentation shows the lifecycle of these monuments and memorial sites in Kosovo, their co-existence with the present developments and potential for transformation.

Dr. Eli Krasniqi (University of Graz)

Abstract: Kujtesa Kolektive pas luftës 1998/’99 në Kosovë: dinamikat e organizimit, përkujtimit dhe rikujtimit.

Diskutimi për kujtesën kolektive apo për praktikat e kujtesës kolektive, na shpie te diskutimi i politikave të kujtesës dhe marrëdhëniet me pushtetin. Në këtë prezantim, do të paraqes trajektoren e organizimit të kujtesës kolektive prej luftës 1998/99 në Kosovë. Më saktë, do të diskutoj së pari rreth liminalitetit të kujtesës kolektive – të qenurit midis privates dhe publikes, apo midis ‘menaxhimi’ institucional dhe atij familjar. Pastaj do të paraqes ndryshimet në format e manifestimit të kujtesës kolektive pas shpalljes së pavarësisë së Kosovës me 2008, duke përfshirë këtu edhe dimensionin gjinor dhe artistik, dhe të përkujtimit e rikujtimit (commemoration and re-minder) të përpjekjeve të periudhës së viteve 1990.

Dr Linda Gusia (University of Prishtina)

Abstract: House-school-museum, a journey of connectivity and transformations

The presentation is focusing on connectivity, generational, temporal and spatial by looking closely to the example of house school system that came to embody civil resistance in 1990-is in Kosova.  By foregrounding the research around the youth participation and the question of who creates narrative and how are they created presented and how they travel.  Centring the paper on the research and the creation of the digital media platform created together with students from University of Prishtina. New methodologies and ongoing digital transformations in the field of memory, through what are often called participatory digital media, are also reminder that “memory is always new if seen as an attitude toward or a representation of the past in the present, and is constantly remade (Hoskin)”. This constant remaking and questioning creates potential for exchange, foregrounding marginalized and forgotten histories, narratives and experiences, in a complex interplay between accessibility, visibility, denial and recognition. Critical engagement with these reminds us, as the im/possibility of travel across social, political and cultural geographies.  

Dr Carmen Levick (University of Sheffield)

Abstract: Taxonomies of Pain: The Role of Prison Museums in National Narratives of Reconciliation 

Prisons embody the contested spaces that exist at the intersection between public and private. For much of their lives as institutions, they reflect on torture and absence, hiding guilty bodies from a society that strives on spectacle. But what happens when prisons are turned into museums? Spaces, objects and absent bodies, exhibited in taxonomies of pain, shift the carceral towards the spectacular and spaces of confinement become public spaces of containment where the pain of others is used to prompt debates and discuss national narratives of reconciliation. This paper will create a comparative, cultural analysis of two prison museums: the Pristina Prison Museum in Kosovo and the Sighet Memorial Museum in Romania, discussing the ways in which the two spaces reflect on local nationhoods and their uneasy relationship with both past and present.