The culture of memory is a conflicted field, and an open wound in the Croatian society of today. The town of Knin, the medieval capital of Croatia is as well a symbol of victory and liberation in the Homeland War of 1990s. However, the present national narrative excludes Serbian minority and therefore seeks reconciliation.
Knin Wall Newspaper
2,000 Euro Prize 2022
Region: Šibenik-Knin County
Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy
Fields of action: Intergenerational work, Community development, Culture
Project owner: Umjetnička organizacija - Otvoreni likovni pogon – Zagreb / Open Art Drive art organization, Zagreb
Responsible person: Maša Štrbac, Kristina Leko
KNIN Wall Newspapers offer a safe space for non-dominant and non-polarizing narratives in which locals of different generations, diverse national and other identities talk to each other, tell their stories and memories on the history of everyday life in their town. It opens space of dialogue as it cherishes shared memories.
The project flows through inter-generational cooperation involving local high-school students and elderly citizens, and several local cultural workers supported by Zagreb based art organization. Local public library and school provide space for workshops and presentations as well as literature and mentoring while a group of local designers does final layout and print.
The project wants to democratize the culture of remembrance by empowering citizens of Knin to articulate their memories in community and in public space - to thus articulate their voices in the space over saturated with the dominant Croatian nation building narrative.
The project opens space for dialogue between diverse social groups, encourages the public to put the culture of remembrance into a general democratic debate, shifting the focus from political polarization to the healing potentials of memory. By focusing on memory of everyday life and not on big historical narratives, by being apolitical, this wall-paper is radically engaged.
The local community of Knin gets an opportunity to reconnect and retell their past. The Knin Wall Newspaper counteracts nationalist narratives by creating space for a collective cultural memory based on the resident’s stories about their everyday lives. The stories encourage the community to focus on what unites them. A historical, analogue medium is revived and brings people from different generations together in public space. The Knin Wall Newspaper is a bottom-up history lesson by the people of Knin, retelling the story of their town.