The exhibition in Novi Sad took place in the Kulturni Centar LAB (Culture Centre Lab), from the 6th to the 15th of June.

The Novi Sad Conference was the following :

The mosaic of remembrance: Stories we took with us

One day conference on refugee experience now and then

Novi Sad, 14th June 2018, venue KCLab, Dr Hempta 2

Introduction:

The exhibition “The mosaic of remembrance: Stories we took with us” speaks about the refugee experience of the nineties in the former Yugoslavia. Exhibited showpieces are objects that people took with them when they had to leave their homes because of the war. An identity card, a hat, a toy, a document on getting a job fare, along with the stories that accompany them – gave visitors the opportunity to consider the complexity of the refugee experience, the context that has determined it and its universality. The refugee experience is transnational and its universality is reflected in the parallel between the former and the current refugee situation.

Program: Conference opening at 17h, two panel debates, starting at 18h and 19.30h

  1. Debate “Parallels: Refugee experience now and then” 18.30h – 19.30h
  • Rados Djurovic – Director of Asylum protection center, Belgrade
  • Nidzara Ahmetasevic, journalist and publicist, activist of Are you Syrious, Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Branislava Opranovic, journalist, Novi Sad
  • Gorana Mlinarevic, feminist activist and researcher on the prosecution of wartime sexual violence and post-war issues, Are you Syrious, Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Program was led by Milica Kravic, journalist, Novi Sad

Issues related to remembrance policies on the refugee situation of the 1990s, civic solidarity, state responsibility and the ways in which the media reported both on refugees and on wars in general, were discussed. Branislava Opranovic, a reporter who reported in the 1990s about refugees from Vukovar, spoke about Novi Sad in those years, with an accent on the media reporting.

Rados Djurovic shared the experience of the Asylum protection center, while Nidzara Ahmetasevic and Gorana Mlinarevic presented their activist work within the Are you Syrious. It was noted that that there is a big problem with media coverage, that is, that the media crate a picture of refugees – as an enemy. The mechanism for identifying refugees, naming them publically in the media are based on the same or similar mechanisms on which propaganda was based in the nineties.

  1. Debate “Literature (and) refugee: Stories we took with us” 19.30h – 21.00h
  • Tanja Stupar Trifunovic – writer, Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Merima Dizdarevic – a poet, Trebinje/Malmo (Bosnia and Herzegovina / Sweden)

Program was led by writer Bojan Krivokapic

What is the role of art, specifically literature, in the processes of dealing with the past, but also with the present? How and in what way can the writers and their books help in these processes? And how does a refugee experience speak in literature? Tanja Stupar Trifvunovic and Merima Dizdarevic are authors who have refugee experience and write about it in their poetry and prose. It was concluded that the refugee experience is one of the dominant and still insufficiently open topics in contemporary post Yugoslav literature. Writing about (personal) refugee experience is a challenge to affirmed writers as well as the writers of the younger generations.

Number of people attended the conference: 50 per debate (overall 100)

Number of people watched live streaming: First debate 594, Second debate 740 views (overall 1334)