KS kultura sjećanja / remembrance culture

Remembrance culture and dealing with the past

Remembrance culture or culture of memory is one of the key concepts around which the interdisciplinary field of memory studies has been formed. In the broadest sense, the culture of memory can be defined as a common term for all forms of thematizing history in public space. The culture of remembrance in Croatia and other post-communist countries is primarily the result of the state policy of using symbols and thus a direct continuation of the policy of the history of communist parties in terms of the mechanisms of its formation and control. But regardless of the interest and power of political elites to publicly affirm certain interpretations of the past, the culture of memory in a society is formed and upgraded through communication and identification processes in which a large number of individual actors, groups and institutions participate. Accordingly, the culture of memory does not represent a specific metanarrative about the past, but reflects different, often opposing interpretations.

History, as an interpretation of the past, always represents a partial and subjectively constructed narrative. No historical account is comprehensive, but this does not mean, however, that every interpretation of the past is equally relevant. In our work, we strive to promote interpretations of the past based on scientifically established facts and the contextualization of historical events based on the critical valorization of different perspectives. Reliance on scientifically based historical research is an important element in building a culture of remembrance and critical dealing with the past.

The culture of remembrance should not be reduced to declaratively paying tribute to the victims. For us, cultivating a culture of remembrance primarily means encouraging the process of critical dealing with the past, i.e. encouraging the public to think about ideologically motivated violence within different regimes in Croatia and Europe in the 20th century. At the same time, we wish to stress the importance of safeguarding the human rights and freedoms of each individual, and encourage empathy with the victims of political and ideological violence.

We hold educating the public while stimulating critical reflection and public dialogue to be the fundamental postulates in shaping active citizens, ready to stand against the restrictions against the freedom of speech, thought and action within the framework of the constitutional-legal order. With our work, we wish to contribute to the development of a society founded upon democratic and civic values.