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The Memory of Places - Places of Memory

A Kosovo-Czech-German collaboration and art project

A project by Timon Perabo and Frauke Wetzel

Host organizations: Qendra Multimedia and Collegium Bohemicum

May 2009, Cultural Center Řehlovice (Czech Republic) and Qendra Multimedia Pristina (Kosovo)

The project "The Memory of Places – Places of Memory" brought together four young participants from each of three different countries – the Czech Republic, Kosovo, and Germany. First they visited Ústí nad Labem and Terezin in the Czech Republic, and Dresden in Germany, after that they traveled to Pristina in Kosovo. During their 13-day journey, they intensively discussed the topic of remembrance in the three countries they visited. The participants visited places that have experienced tyranny and many violent conflicts that are deeply embedded in the inhabitants' consciousnesses and also affect the young people of each region.

There was a tour of memorials in Ústí nad Labem and discussions with historians and artists who work with the topic. The group visited the memorial of the Theresienstadt concentration camp with a survivor from that time. Each day there was a moderated discussion that detailed the experience, also in regard to the development of an artistic-aesthetic production.

In Kosovo they also observed which forms of institutionalized memorials exist. What complicates and prevents erecting memorials so soon after a war? What forms and interpretations of war memorials do local people use to discuss the events at hand? In order to learn more about the forms of public memorials they wanted and supported, the participants met with representatives of politics, civil society, and victims of the war.

With support from: Technische Universität Dresden, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Goethe-Institut