INSTITUTIONS OF MEMORY
Project sets up a framework for high school students to critically examine ideological, daily functioning of institutions of memory and their creation of historical narrative. The importance of memory institutions in the contemporary social and political context is demonstrated through their construction of collective memory and presentations of ‘official history’ which they use to occupy a crucial role in the symbolic center of the nation. Post-conflict and post-socialist context of Croatia contributed to enhance intolerance, hatred and misunderstanding towards memory of past polities, social and political governance organization and minority social groups. Influenced by the works of historian Pierre Nora, sociologist Maurice Halbwachs and anthropologist Paul Connerton we look at history and collective memory as one of the most important elements in construction and homogenization of modern democratic communities and also in negotiation of collective identities. Collective memory is established through the assumption that each social group develops the memory of its own past, it emphasizes the uniqueness of this community and achieves its own identity and image to be transmitted to future generations. Institutions of memory such as museums, archives, schools or public service media are seen as places of gathering, storing, reinterpretation and dissemination of public knowledge about past events and they are, as Pierre Nora would say, physical or imaginary spaces that can always be visited or re-visited in search of history and memory.
Given the absence of courses that deal with these questions, IM forwards democratic constructions of memory by promoting inclusiveness and equality, as opposed to hegemonic, one-sided and ‘useful’ narratives. The project aims to STRENGTHEN students for an active democratic participation, EDUCATE them about multiple process of construction of collective memory and history in post-conflict societies, RAISE AWARENESS about marginalized social groups, collective amnesia i the effacement of minority histories from dominant narratives. By connecting institutions and organizations the project develops a long-term and sustainable cooperation network between teachers, scientists and other professionals who approach the education of youth about questions and problems of social memory in an engaged and critical way.