Blog

2016 Summer School

7th International Summer School in Comparative Conflict Studies 
June 27 to July 4, 2016
On this blog we invited students who attended the 7th Summer School in Comparative Studies to reflect on their experiences and learning throughout the week of participation in one of the 5 courses offered this year.

The ‘Non-aligning’ connection - A stroll down the memory lane / Shiva Sai Ram Urella

2016 Summer School Participant
Course: From Intervention to Non-Intervention: The Triumph of State Sovereignty over Human Rights?

Serbia? Like Syria? Is that where you are going to attend your summer school? This is the generic response which I received from my friends and family when I first told them about the summer school. My parents were very skeptical about sending me here because Serbia is one of those “obscure” countries on the map. But when I mention Yugoslavia and Tito they immediately nod as they nostalgically remember the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM). Who doesn’t remember the Tito-Nasser-Nehru triumvirate?

Read more...

The Power of Rakija: Multiculturalism in Post- Yugoslav States / Yosra El Gendi

2016 Summer School Participant
Course: Religion and Conflict: The Balkans' Explorations vs. Explorations of the Balkans

The tale of the power of Rakija is said to have been delivered by an Ottoman commander on the warfront as he was encountering heavy resistance from soldiers in the Balkans. He stated that they would “drink Rakija before battle and so became invincible”. While there is little evidence for this myth of Rakija drinkers’ invincibility, the story reverberates in popular culture.

Read more...

Why we need memory studies in relation to conflicts / Vladimir Mihajlović

2016 Summer School Participant
Course: Memory and Conflict: Remembering and Forgeting in Divided Societies

In my mind, there is no doubt that the heart of every conflict are stories, stories that have been passed around embellished and reshaped and made more powerful with each reiteration. Sometimes, the conflicting stories serve as the root of the conflict and at times they are newly created to give one’s struggle a higher purpose. When it comes to intractable conflicts, the collective narratives behind them are often the key to reaching a long-lasting peace. Unless we question the stories that fuel the sense of entitlement and grievances of either party, we risk having the same deeply ingrained beliefs and biases being passed onto another generation, thus prolonging the conflict and often maintaining the conditions that led to initial grievances.

Read more...

We are all Others / Antonela Ramljak

2016 Summer School Participant
Course: Orientalism, Balkanism, Occidentalism: Thinking through Discourse of 'Othering' and Conflict

''The starting point of critical elaboration is the consciousness of what one really is, and is 'knowing thyself' as a product of the historical processes to date, which had deposited in you and infinity of traces, without leaving an inventory. Therefore it is imperative at the out set to compile such an inventory.'' Antonio Gramsci

Read more...

The Whole Story / Lejla Gacanica

2016 Summer School Participant
Course: Orientalism, Balkanism, Occidentalism: Thinking through Discourse of 'Othering' and Conflict

Others are those who are not us. Perhaps in them we reflect our fears, imperfections or we base our values (by creating identity/ies relative to the Others). Between the polarizing constructs of others, to examine the different 'sides', identify stereotypes and reflect self-perception seemed like a challenge. In fact, it was. Still is.

Read more...

The “Other” from Afghanistan: Building Bridges Over Lunch Break / Sarah Freeman-Woolpert

2016 Summer School Participant
Course: Orientalism, Balkanism, Occidentalism: Thinking through Discourse of 'Othering' and Conflict

We sat silently together in the park, an old Serbian man and I. Nearby on a tattered blanket, two toddlers dozed curled together, their chests rising and falling in the heat. “Look,” he murmured to me, in a ragged voice. “Look.” I glanced up, searching this old man’s face, and found his eyes were filled with tears as he watched the children sleep.

Read more...

2015 Summer School

6th International Summer School in Comparative Conflict Studies 
June 28 to July 5, 2015
On this blog we invited students who attended the 6th Summer School in Comparative Studies to reflect on their experiences and learning throughout the week of participation in one of the 4 courses offered this year.

International intervention: Where are we? / Irina Jolevska

2015 Summer School Participant
Course: The Challenge of International Intervention: Balancing Justice and Order

When I applied for the 2015 CFCCS Summer School I did not know what to expect. What I found here was better than what I was hoping for. An extraordinary mixture of people from all around the world gathered here in Belgrade to discuss important topics and to share their views, opinions and experiences. I can say with certainty that I have learned as much from them as I learned in the classroom. I had the amazing opportunity to learn from Dr. Maxine David and to attend the lecture of Amira Hass, for which I am very grateful.

Read more...

An Australian - Croatian comes to Belgrade / Suzana Jačmenović

2015 Summer School Participant
Course: Mnemonic Battles and Memory Activism in and after Conflict

Within our class ‘Mnemonic Battles and Memory Activism in and after Conflict’ led by Dr. Orli Fridman, we had focused discussion on social political commemoration events that we partake in and the significance they held.  Interestingly, those who shared the same nationality did not necessarily commemorate the same events, the variety may be an expression of the multiple strains nationalism can encompass or perhaps it demonstrates how a nation-state does not always achieve the homogeneity it strives for.

Read more...

Beyond Geographical Borders… / Salaam Bannoura

2015 Summer School Participant
Course: Mnemonic Battles and Memory Activism in and after Conflict

Growing up in zone of ongoing conflicts and uprisings, I had always gone through a cycle of endless questions that usually started with a WHY, and were never answered! Why was I brought up here? Why me? Why are my people suffering? Why did I become aware of all this at a relatively young age? Why did this all had to happen in the first place?

Read more...

Walls of our lives / Stevan Tatalović

2015 Summer School Participant
Course: Orientalism, Balkanism, Occidentalism: Thinking through discourses of Othering and Conflict

On November 9th 2014 hundred thousand people gathered in Berlin to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Probably none of these people thought that we would have a new wall in Europe next year. On that same day, I had the opportunity to talk with Boris Buden (philosopher, writer and cultural critic), and ask him how he felt twenty five years ago, when the wall came down.He answered that he was inspired, young and crazy. Although Buden criticized what we called Europe twenty five years later, he probably could not predict that in 2015 someone will draw plans for new walls at the boarders of European fortress.

Read more...

We Need More Inclusive Memory Communities! / Srdjan Hercigonja

2015 Summer School Participant
Course: Mnemonic Battles and Memory Activism in and after Conflict

During our second session of the Mnemonic Battles During and After the Conflict course of the Summer School in Comparative Conflict Studies, conducted by Dr. Orli Fridman, we had quite an interesting assignment. We had to list three dates on which we celebrate or commemorate something. Since we were discussing political calendars, it had to be a date that is important in our individual memory, but that has some connection with social or political memory. I found this task challenging. At first, I couldn’t remember any date in the political calendar that I can really mark. A thousand thoughts have passed through my mind – all related to the question of my own political identity, since I was well aware of the fact that memory (including personal remembrance) and identity are interconnected.

Read more...

Study Seminar in Israel, 2014

Comparative Memory Activism and Conflict Transformation:
Practices and Challenges Study Seminar in Israel January 11-18, 2014
On this blog the participants of the study seminar in Israel will share their experiences.Written texts, photos and short videos will be compiled here to serve as both documentation of the seminar as well as new memory knowledge material.

“The Arabs” (not) in the museum \ Eitan Bronstein Aparicio

"Here's a painting by Nahum Gutman. It shows the founders of Tel Aviv drawing for the building lots on which they'll construct their homes. He painted the seashore in the background. There's only sand between the people and the sea. For some reason he didn't include Manshiyya, the Jaffa neighborhood with tens of thousands of inhabitants, most of them Arabs, even though it would have been impossible to overlook it from where he stood. By ignoring it he helped create the myth that the first Hebrew city was built on sand dunes." With these words, Umar al-Ghubari concluded his tour of the destroyed Palestinian localities within Tel Aviv's borders.

Read more...

Notes to self \ Miloš Ćirić

On first day of the seminar, it became clear to me: dealing with the memory activism in Israel is like writing in the sand: what you write now, next second could be erased. Just like in Serbia, someone has always to be present and write the same message again, and again, confronting the waves.

I Basics 

Memory activism in Serbia: is there any? Does memory activism in Serbia exist like in Israel, where it occurs as clearly defined activity on the margins of the Israeli society? Or is it more correct to claim that memory activism in Serbia actually means creating the memory of certain historic events like genocide in Srebrenica or ethnic cleansing campaigns in Kosovo and maintaining it in Serbian public discourse?

Read more...

Crack in the Wall – Aida Refugee Camp \ Jelena Džombić

First impression that I had while we're approaching the Wall in West Bank overwhelmed me and for the first time here I felt really sad. I couldn't believe that someone could use Holy place (as Israelis understand Rachel Tomb) as actual military zone. Israeli side presents the Wall as defense of attacks of the Palestinian side behind the Wall. They thoroughly explained how threatened they are from the attacks and constant danger imposed by the Palestinians. When we finished the visit to Rachel Tomb, I found myself wondering – is it safe for us to cross the Wall, and go to the other side? What will we find there?

Entering the Bethlehem and arriving to the other side of the Wall was second shock. Inhuman conditions in which members of Palestinian community are living their lives are simply indescribable. We found out that actual victims were they. Story of 16 years old boy who was shot by solders from the towers last week.

Read more...

Down with the wall! \ Nenad Porobić

I will never forget the day when we visited both Rachel’s Tomb and Aida Refugee Camp near Bethlehem in the West Bank. In order to deepen our understanding of the Palestinian plight in 1948 (Nakba, i.e. catastrophe – mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Jews from what became the state of Israel) and its unaddressed consequences, the organizers of the Study seminar took us to these two locations which are separated by a segregation wall Israel has been building in the occupied West Bank.

Read more...

Between Tel-Aviv and Belgrade: Comparative memory work \ Orli Fridman

So little is known about the post- Yugoslav wars of the 1990s among Israelis and Palestinians, unlike the overwhelming and on going news and coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian that consume the international media.

At Zochrot, after a long day, we invited interested audience to learn about Memory work in Serbia. The position of those engaged in memory work in their societies in Serbia, as I understand it, is very similar to this of activists in Israel producing alternative knowledge and alternative commemorative practices as related to the memory of 1948 as well as other layers of collective memory in Jewish Israeli society.  Such practices, as remembering Srebrenica as a genocide in Belgrade, or remembering the Nakba in Hebrew, are part of the on-going mnemonic battles in both societies. 

Read more...

The Four Faces of Tel Aviv \ Marija Ristić

After a long thinking about this post and the task what inspired me the most during our week long trip to Israel, I actually come up with the idea to apply some of the work of one of my colleagues related to Yugoslav wars to Israel.

Nenad Porobić, who was also a part of our group that was visiting Israel, is also part of Belgrade-based  group of artists and activists  called Working Group Four Faces of Omarska .

Read more...

 

CONTACT US


  • Karadjordjeva 65
    11000 Belgrade, Serbia

Thinking Comparatively

Stay connected

btj 300x250