Project name: Reflective memories: from remembrance to reconciliation
Funded by: European Union, subgrant from RECOM
Timeline: July-October 2022
Objectives: The project’s main goal is to start a discussion about memory culture and possible ways of dealing with the past among students from Tetovo’s universities, with a special emphasis on active participation of young people in the commemoration process and the inclusion of local government in joint activities. The exchange of experiences between ethnic and cultural groups in Tetove will help to achieve the main goal.
The project’s goals are as follows:
• Using artistic methods to convey the message of memory culture to the wider mass of the citizens
• Using memory culture as a tool to promote awareness and intercultural communication, as well as understanding and recognition as components of dealing with the past and building a common future.
• Exchange of cultures and experiences in the field of remembrance, memory, and dealing with the past, including young people, state institutions related to culture, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that work cooperatively with many stakeholders.
Result 1: Increased knowledge among students of SEEU and UT about dealing with the past, stereotypes, prejudices and resolving conflicts.
Activity I: Workshop on “Reflective Memory”: For three days in Tetovo, RMV, 20 students from SEEU (law and political science department) and UT (art department) will participate in interactive lectures, discussions, debates, and workshops on artistic methods. Participants will learn and discuss memory, conflict resolution, narrative parallels, stereotypes, and prejudices during the workshops. Participants in this workshop will form groups that will then select specific artistic methods to promote coexistence, alternative historical narratives, and acceptance of one another. A report containing the key points of the student discussions will be prepared and shared with the Municipality of Tetovo as a basis for the start of the institutional level discussion for the reconciliation process.
Result 2: Raising awareness for acceptance and coexistence among young people from secondary schools in Tetove
Activity II: Organizational, institutional, and cultural museum visits and discussions: The one-day visit will take place in Tetovo with 20 students from each of the city’s six public high schools and two private schools, where they will have the opportunity to meet with activists, representatives of institutions, museum leaders, and others to discuss ways to avoid stereotypes, prejudices, and one-sided narratives of the conflictual past, as well as to promote tolerance, coexistence, and acceptance. Participants in this workshop will form groups and then select specific artistic methods to promote coexistence, alternative historical narratives, and acceptance of one another. A report containing the key points of the student discussions will be prepared and shared with the Municipality of Tetovo as a basis for the start of the institutional level discussion for the reconciliation process.
Result 3: Promotion of coexistence and acceptance through public art for the general population in Tetove
Activity III: “Memorial Wall” mural: In cooperation with the municipality of Tetova, a wall will be chosen in a part of the city where the participants from
Activity I and II will work on the mural with messages related to the culture of memory and coexistence. In addition to the participants in the activities of this project, LAI’s volunteer and municipality employees will participate
Activity IV: Exhibition of participants’ works: Participants from Activity I and II will present through artistic methods their perceptions of linked to the culture of commemoration and reconciliation in their local contexts. Photographs, paintings, narratives and video materials will be exhibited in front of the citizens in a joint exhibition at the Art Gallery in Tetove. This activity will be the final event of the project where the results of the discussions will be disseminated through a public presentation as well as the joint works of ethnically mixed groups regarding memory, reconciliation, stereotypes, prejudice, and coexistence.
The project has 3 target groups:
– Students from two universities in the country
– Students from 8 secondary schools in the city
– Citizens of Tetova
Activity 1, 3, and 4 will include students of various ethnicities as participants as well as contributors to the discussion about the past conflict.
Activity 2 and 3 will include ethnically diverse high school students both as visitors and participants in discussions about acceptance, tolerance, and coexistence, as well as as contributors to the mural.
Activity 3 and 4 will target Tetova residents as young people’s message consumers.
All activities will include ethnic, gender, urban/rural, and marginalized group representation.