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Stories of genocide victims that depict the suffering and struggle of the survivors

The exhibition entitled “Stories from Srebrenica” was opened today on the Information and Documentation Center (IDC) premises in Podgorica, organized by the Civic Alliance and the Srebrenica Memorial Center. The exhibition depicts the existential struggle of the surviving witnesses of the genocide in Srebrenica, as well as their memories of the siege of the city and events from the time of the genocide. In addition, the exhibition items carry the stories of their owners and users – people who became victims of genocide.

Through personal testimonies, objects, and personal stories of victims of genocide, the sufferings of the most brutal crime in Europe after World War II are presented. In this way, the importance of remembering the victims of genocide was highlighted and space was provided for reflection on the consequences of this terrible crime.

The exhibition was opened by Fatmir Đeka, Minister of Human and Minority Rights, H.E. Branimir Jukić, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ahmo Mehmedović, Curator of the Srebrenica Memorial Center and Milan Radović, Program Director of the Civic Alliance.

“Since July 1995, the word Srebrenica has had an undertone of general sadness and absolute anguish, I would say, in front of one of the biggest massacres in Europe after the Second World War,” said Minister Đeka. He also recalled the judgments of the International Criminal Court: “The judgments of the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice characterized this mass crime as genocide and the worst single horror committed during the war in the territory of the former Yugoslavia… It is our duty and moral obligation to train the coming generations to be intolerant of any form of radicalism, and primarily against nationalism and the spread of religious intolerance and hatred.”

„I want to emphasize that Montenegro was the first in the region, on July 9, 2009, to adopt the Declaration accepting the resolution of the European Parliament on the genocide in Srebrenica”, Ambassador Jukić reminded the audience. “With this exhibition “Stories from Srebrenica”, we are restoring individuality to the victims so that it can be seen that they were living people, with their hopes, fears, and way of life, as evidenced by their personal belongings, as well as dreams that were cut short in the most brutal way,” he said.

“The opening of the exhibition in Montenegro, a country that adopted the Resolution on the Srebrenica genocide in 2021, is significant. The exhibition is a project of the Memorial Center, which aims to show other cities and countries the genocide in Srebrenica. It consists of two parts, the first part consists of five video stories about life under siege by surviving witnesses of the genocide. In contrast, the second part consists of five personal stories of people who were killed during the genocide in Srebrenica along with their items donated to us by their families. Through them, you can understand the gravity of their murder for entire communities, cities, and countries. This exhibition is a message for the whole world,” explained Ahmo Mehmedović from the Srebrenica Memorial Center.

On behalf of Civic Alliance, Milan Radović spoke about the importance of the process of dealing with the past: “The very name “Srebrenica” has become today a synonym for all the worst crimes that occurred during the collapse of Yugoslavia, that is, crimes committed out of religious and ethnic hatred. Indeed, one nation is not responsible for the genocide in Srebrenica. Individuals are responsible, but it is also true that today all people are obliged to demand from the authorities that justice for the victims and their families finally happens and that, based on justice, new relationships are established and a new healthy reality is created. “

The exhibition was also attended by H.E. Zećir Ramčilović, Ambassador of North Macedonia, Veselko Grubišić, Ambassador of Croatia, Rabii Hantouli, Ambassador of Palestine, Anne-Marie Maskay, Ambassador of France, representatives of the United Nations (UN) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Montenegro, parliamentary clubs, Bosniak councils, representatives of the NGO sector, and students of law faculties, who experienced the horrors of the genocide in Srebrenica specially and importantly in the aforementioned exhibition space and with the exhibited objects and testimonies. This is how this event achieved its basic mission, which is to illuminate parts of history that we must not forget. The exhibition reminded us once again of the importance of a culture of memory, of facing the past to build peace and reconciliation, and justice for all genocide victims and their families.

After the ceremonial opening, curator Mehmedović presented the exhibition itself and all its details to the audience. Through the disclosure above and the presentation of individual stories of victims of genocide, each victim is not only respected but also humanized. Through these stories, visitors to the exhibition gained a deeper insight into the suffering and struggle of the survivors, which contributes to preserving the memory of the tragedy. Also, the event allowed us to reflect on the consequences of hatred and intolerance, on the importance of human rights and respect for diversity to build a better future together.

The exhibition will be open until March 20 (working days until 3 p.m.), and we invite all interested citizens to visit the Information and Documentation Center at Petra Dedića 26, Stari Aerodrom.

The event is part of the “Culture of Memory for a Brighter Future” project, which is supported through the regional project “EU support for building trust in the Western Balkans”, with the financial support of the European Union. The regional project is implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The content of this announcement is the sole responsibility of the Civic Alliance and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union or UNDP.

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