As the past always keeps inviting us back to learn something new the history books overlook, events such as World War 1 require revisiting.
Enter ”The First World War in the Culture of Memory. Forgotten Heritage”, a scientific project led by Ljiljana Dobrovšak to dig deeper into the collective memory of this dreadful war.
”The aim of the research is to initiate a scholarly debate on the ”cultural memory” of WW1 in Croatia based on newly acquired knowledge in order to determine its causes and why it contributed to the contemporary social phenomenon of ”forgetfulness” related to WW1 in Croatia.
The objective of this research is to examine WW1’s ”cultural memory” in Croatia back during the time of the Kingdom of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs/Yugoslavia (and in relation to the wider region and the rest of Europe) through the systematic investigation of ”memory politics” (legal framework), ”sites of memory” marking practices and ”commemorative practices’’ ”during the war and in the interwar period,” explains the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute on its website.
This piece of research had two goals. The first is concerned with investigating and recording what the research calls ”sites of memory”, and to fully determine circumstances of their creation, establishment or even, in some cases, the disappearance of those places. This was done by analysing and studying actions and/or attitudes of the Croatian institutions, military and civilian associations next to the central Belgrade institutions, military and civilian organisations towards ”sites of memory” related to the WW1 in Croatia.
The second goal concerns situating these ”sites of memory” in a wider socio-political context. This way, researchers can investigate how, at the time, the Yugoslav legal framework of memory politics is developed towards its formation through commemorative practices on its territory, as well as, attitudes of the Yugoslav state and central institutions in Belgrade towards Croatian citizens as members of the Austro-Hungarian Army who died fighting for the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
”The overall result of this predominantly historical research project which is multidisciplinary in character is not only expanded knowledge about neglected and insufficiently researched Croatian cultural and historical heritage but more importantly; the acquired knowledge which enables the scientific and cultural integration of the Croatian WW1 memory, more precisely cultural memory, and its valorised historical heritage into the wider socio-historical European context,” concludes the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute.
The project started in 2020 and will last until 2023. However, even now, the research has moved far enough to hold an international scientific round table regarding the matter.
The round table lasting from September 9-10 will see lectures from scientists from Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and Croatia.
The event will be held at Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute’s multimedia hall in Zagreb, at Marko Marulić Square 19. However, due to the current epidemiological measures, the number of seats at the hall is limited. But never fear, as you can follow the discussions and lectures live via a Zoom meeting (Meeting ID: 892 6457 0158 Passcode: 316547).
Read about Croatian politics and history since 1990 on our TC guide.
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