Swiss Foundation Terre des homes, European NGO network, CCFD-Terre Solidaire.
Examples of concrete activities I have organized/am organizing in the field of “dealing with the past”:
Dealing with the past is one of the key-points of my cinematographic explorations. In this sense, I made a first movie on the work of Milomir Kovacevic, photograph from Sarajevo leaving in Paris since 1995. Now on, I am working and preparing on a movie in Bosnia with two women who left their village and are now living in Sarajevo. I am asking myself: how can someone ‘continue’ his life after the war? Where are the scars and reminisces? I am also starting to work on a documentary movie on individuals’ souvenirs of the GDR.
When I was working as a project officer for CCFD, I was also very much connected to this issue. I have been focusing a lot on these issues in Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia, supporting several initiatives, all designed and implemented by civil society organizations. For me, it wasessential to combine different approaches and scales: official History, individual memories, indirect activities to tackle the issues, more ‘aggressive’ actions. Some activities are directly the collection of testimonies, figures and publishing it (like the Kosovo Memory Book from the Humanitarian Law Center in Kosovo), others are organization of youth exchanges (like YIHRs are doing within Bosnia, within Kosovo, or between Kosovo and Serbia). And others are artistic activities to allow different understanding of the recent past (like the literature festival Na polaputa in Uzice).
Concrete challenges I am facing in my “dealing with the past”-related work:
How can we confront in a constructive way the personal memories with collective memory?
How can we bring opposed memories together and give them the possibility to listen to each other, to coexist and to move on?
How and when do the individual memories of difficult pasts appear in the everyday life? How can we film the past through scares and reminisces? How can we make them visible?
My personal link to/interest for the topic of “dealing with difficult pasts”:
As far as I remember, I have been confronted with the issue of a painful past that doesn’t pass. So, once I understood – which doesn’t mean accepted – that it won’t change, my personal quest is: how can we live with the souvenirs and remembrance today and how can we build our lives with these pasts.