Call to fill out Survey: How are the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990’s Remembered?

The Yugoslav wars of the 1990’s are often considered ‘not yet history’. Because the memory of the wars is still relatively recent, they are commemorated in many different ways and have also been widely investigated in connection with transnational justice.

Within the wider context of the project ‘Learning a History that is not yet History’, EUROCLIO – in cooperation with the Internationals Students of History Association (ISHA) – has developed a survey to collect information in order to map how the Yugoslav wars of the 1990’s are currently remembered throughout Europe.

We would kindly like to ask you to help us in our research by filling out the survey. The survey will take about 4-5 minutes, and is completely anonymous. The findings of the survey will be collected and presented at the public event ‘How can Europe help the Balkans ‘consume’ their History’ in Brussels on 18 December 2017.

The findings will contribute to the project ‘Learning a History that is not yet History’ in a broader sense; results from the survey will assist in developing new ways to approach this difficult and sensitive past in the field of European remembrance.

 

Our 2nd Regional Summer School starts in Montenegro

First day: Western influence on cultural development after the Roman era

After a beautiful and interesting ride into the Montenegrin mountains, and a little adjustment to the heat, the 2nd Regional Summer School in Montenegro could finally begin.

The first day started with an introduction to multiple organisations who are active in the region, like Cultural Heritage Without Borders and the Regional Cooperation Council Cultural heritage and Peace and Reconciliation, two of EUROCLIO's main issues, were highlighted, because they play an important role in the focus of this year's Summer School: Learning Through Entangled Legacies in History Education and Cultural Heritage. The Summer School offers a great combination of a rich programme and informal parts in order to create new connections.

During the Summer School we are already thinking about the future. In a workshop given by Judith Geerling, EUROCLIO Project manager, participants could together brainstorm about possible new projects about the Second World War. Jonathan Even-Zohar, EUROCLIO Director took a whole other turn and chose to talk about culture and food in the Balkans. It turns out that Ajvar or coffee isn't the same everywhere.

On-site learning is a very important part of this Summer School. The first trip took the group further into the mountains, all the way up to Njegos Mausoleum, the final resting place of Petar II. The 461 steps were quite a journey, but in the end the view made up for it. After being in the mountains long enough, the bus took us all the way down to see the wonderful old city of Kotor.

      

 

 

 

 

Member Project “Historija, istorija povijest”: Teacher Training in Zagreb

Reconciliation through dialogue in a shared past

From 17-21 February this year a training of future trainers as a part of the project “Historija, Istorija, Povijest (HIP) – Lessons for Today” (2015 – 2017) was organised in Zagreb. The project, which is funded by the European Commission, intends to raise attention and encourage discussion about the events of the recent past of the Western Balkans, which are the cause of various divisions and generating conflicts in the last century. Fifty future trainers from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Macedonia took part in multiple lectures and workshops. The objectives of the project HIP are to research and launch discussions on Former Yugoslavia, to promote critical thinking and to encourage creative thinking about how to educate the common past and promote tolerance. By promoting critical thinking about the events of history and their importance in modern time and events, the Anne Frank House and partners aim to achieve reconciliation through dialogue in a shared past. The methodological approach that will be used includes a combination of formal and informal education and through this interdisciplinary, pluralistic education History submitted by teachers and students. A key element in the project is the creation of long-lasting, high-quality, interactive educational materials on history that will inspire future generations of teachers and students. The Croatian Education and Development Network for the Evolution of Communication (HERMES) is one of the partners in the project and Igor Jovanović had the chance to give a presentation about EUROCLIO as an association and its work. He highlighted the EUROCLIO’s textbook “Once Upon a Time… We Lived Together” created during the “History That Connects” project. You can find the publication on our website as well.  Other partners are the Anne Frank House (the Netherlands), Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Youth Educational Forum (Macedonia), Humanity in Action (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Open Communication.

Historija, istorija povijest

Speakers and workshop leaders at the seminar were: Tvrtko Pater – Introduction to the traveling exhibition Anne Frank – A History for the Present and an Introduction to Memory Walk methodology), Almir Alić – Lecture on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Miljenko Hajdarović – Time line of Yugoslavia, Jelena Došlov – Study of Totalitarianism, Vesna Ivezić – Football Arena as the site of expression of nationalism, Bojan Golubović – When you say URBAN do you have any prejudice?, Ida Ljubić – Brotherhood and unity at the table? Yugoslav cookbooks and cooking textbooks, Branislav Toder – Social crisis and the defeat of Yugoslavia – breaking of the common state, Smilja Mrdja – Multiperspectivity in the processing of sensitive content in the teaching of history in the case of Goli Otok, Igor Jovanović – Presentation of EUROCLIO Association, Tihana Magaš – Presentation of the project “Traces of the past at the door of the present “, presented the materials to teach developed during the project – “Cards for teaching: “Timeline of Yugoslavia” and introduced a manual with 8 curricula (International Criminal Court, Timeline of Yugoslavia, Nationalism and football, Brotherhood and Unity at the table, Study of totalitarianism, Urban=without prejudice?, Social crisis and the defeat of Yugoslavia, Goli otok).

 

 

Swiss Members Publish Bulletin on Conflict Regions

Jaco Stoop Uncategorized

The Swiss History Teachers Association VSVG published their annual bulletin, this year focusing on ‘Other perspectives on Conflict Regions’. The bulletin features an (English) article from EUROCLIO director Jonathan Even-Zohar, who talks about EUROCLIO’s grounding principles, and explains how these apply in (former) conflict regions such as the Black Sea are and the Western Balkans. Moreover, the bulletin includes an article (in German) from VSVG’s director Daniela Zunzer, who speaks of her experiences with the EUROCLIO project ‘History that Connects’. You can find the online bulletin here.

New Publication by Bosnian History Teachers’ Association

Jaco Stoop Uncategorized

The Bosnian History Teachers Association EUROCLIO HIP-BiH organised on December 4th the promotion of the new puclication “Abuse of history that led to the last war in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A framework for change of paradigm in history teaching in schools in BIH”. Within the project “History that Connects and Divides” in partnership with EUROCLIO, the EUROCLIO HIP-BiH team conducted research about the use and abuse of history in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in the period before the war in the 1990s. The project is supported by Open Society Foundations in BiH. The team that was led by Edin Radusic prepared a database with relevant historiographical works, newspaper articles, and video material about the topic. Besides that, they have created four multiperspectivity workshops, which were prepared for students at local gymnasiums. The book is available in English and in Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian. For more information please go to the EUROCLIO HIP BIH website, or contact Bojana Dujkovic.

1st Regional “History that Connects” Summer School Enables Regional Cooperation

The “History that Connects” Summer School was a regional summer school bringing educators and experts in history and cultural heritage from the countries of South East Europe. More than 70 people participated the training. The theme of the summer school was “Rethinking On-Site Learning to Find the Global in the Local”. It was organised by EUROCLIO in cooperation with all its regional Member Associations and the RCC Taskforce on Culture and Society. The event is considered to be a platform for capacity building, in-service trainings, networking and sharing of expertise. The training was important for targeting educators and experts who come from the countries that have been in conflict with one another. The event was also very important for EUROCLIO because for the first time a summer school was organised and carried out. A full report, including follow-up actions, is expected later in September, wheras a mini-documentary on the experiences of participants will come in time for the winter holidays. For more information, please contact Jonathan Even-Zohar (jonathan@euroclio.eu).

1st Regional “History that Connects” Summer School Enables Regional Cooperation

The “History that Connects” Summer School was a regional summer school bringing educators and experts in history and cultural heritage from the countries of South East Europe. More than 70 people participated the training. The theme of the summer school was “Rethinking On-Site Learning to Find the Global in the Local”. It was organised by EUROCLIO in cooperation with all its regional Member Associations and the RCC Taskforce on Culture and Society. The event is considered to be a platform for capacity building, in-service trainings, networking and sharing of expertise. The training was important for targeting educators and experts who come from the countries that have been in conflict with one another. The event was also very important for EUROCLIO because for the first time a summer school was organised and carried out. A full report, including follow-up actions, is expected later in September, wheras a mini-documentary on the experiences of participants will come in time for the winter holidays. For more information, please contact Jonathan Even-Zohar (jonathan@euroclio.eu)

EUROCLIO Supports Anne Frank House Initiative in Balkans

On 3-5 July 2015, in Zagreb, an important meeting within the Anne Frank House Project “Historia, Istorija, Povijest” was held. At this meeting teams from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia presented proposed exhibition panels on the history between 1945-2000, which aims to complement a travelling Anne Frank House Exhibition in the region. The teams also took part in workshop classes which aimed to pilot prepared lesson plans. EUROCLIO Director Jonathan Even-Zohar was invited to the meeting to reflect with the participants and advisors on the methodology of the lesson plans, as well as the larger project process.

He highlighted to the project team the need for the material to be engaging for students, but also the the need for using real broad range of perspectives to better be able to address the complexity of this history. Many of the educators involved in this project are connected to the National History Teachers Associations, or confirmed to seek contacts following the summer months.

This project is a cooperation between the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and its partners HERMES (Croatia), Humanity in action (BiH), Open communication (Serbia), and Youth Educational Forum (Macedonia). This project is funded by the European Union – More information will be available via the Anne Frank House.

EUROCLIO presents History that Connects Programme during Georg Arnhold Summer school

From 21 until 27 June the second international Georg Arnhold Summer School on Education for Sustainable Peace took place in Braunschweig, Germany. The summer school was organized by the Georg Eckert Institute [www.gei.de] in partnership with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) on the theme of “Transitional Justice and Education: Engaging Children and Youth in Justice and Peacebuilding through Educational Media, Curricula and Outreach”. EUROCLIO Project Manager Judith Geerling participated in the summer school that brought together 20 participants – combining civil society practitioners and researchers that were coming from all over the world to present their research and work on the theme. She discussed the specific role of history education for sustainable peace and transitional justice processes, and presented the work of EUROCLIO, specifically the History that Connects Programme in the Balkans, and established useful contacts for future cooperation.

Stop to Teach History or More Multiperspectivity? EUROCLIO Ambassador Klaus Bjerre Reports from Skopje Conference on Historiography and History Education

This report below written by EUROCLIO Ambassador Klaus Bjerre (Denmark) 

History in the Balkans is dominated by political history. The nation is often seen as a collective agent that has aspired to freedom, sovereignty,and welfare since the very beginning of history. Some aspects of élite culture are included in textbooks, but social and economic history are mostly marginalized. Social history can show that the ethnicities in the Balkans have a lot in common, but textbooks tend to be seen as an instrument for strengthening national consciousness, rather than something that should help young people to have knowledge and values that can help them to live in a multicultural society. Common to the narratives is the claim that the now existing nationalities originated at the time of the birth of humanity, and that the in-group is a victim, the out-group a perpetrator. THEY occupy – WE liberate; WE inhabit – THEY colonize.

Historiography and History Education in the South Slavic- and Albanian-Speaking Regions was the theme at a Conference held in early June in Skopje. The organizers were the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (Braunschweig), the Institute for National History (Skopje), and the Institute for Spiritual and Cultural Heritage of the Albanians (Skopje). (ed. Conference is part of this project)

The central theme was Slavic narratives about Albanians, and Albanian narratives about Slavs, in textbooks as well as in academic literature. Narratives from both Albania and Serbia were included, but as the conference was in Skopje, it was natural that Macedonian and Albanian narratives from Macedonia were in focus (Albanians constitute more than a quarter of the population in Macedonia).

Dragi Gjorgiev, from the Macedonian Institute for National History, stated that history teaching in Macedonia lacks a critical dimension, as well as pupils’ activity and involvement. He referred to Joke van der Leeuw-Roord’s report from 2012 “A Key to Unlock the Past, History Education in Macedonia” (ed. which was part of a EUROCLIO/ANIM Project on History Education) and said that much too little had been improved in recent years.

Teachers in Macedonian schools must choose chapters from the textbooks in order to limit the contents. The result is that ethnic Macedonian students are told an ethnic Macedonian narrative, while Albanian students are told an Albanian narrative (the schools are segregated). Since the 1990s, most derogatory terms have been removed, but the texts still harbor lots of implicit stereotypes and prejudices. Teachers are not allowed to teach any period after 1991.
A lot of time in lessons is spent on “questions and answers”, memorizing the textbook, instead of on discussion or inquiry within the subject matter.
The history curriculum is the only Macedonian curriculum that has not been changed in the last decade. There is a so-called ‘moratorium’, because the issue is politically sensitive.

Textbooks in Albania are ethnocentric as well. Most are written by the same authors who wrote the textbooks in the era of Enver Hoxha. The ideological content has been altered, but much of the structure is the same. The Illyrians had state traditions before the Romans came, the Slavs were barbarians who colonized the Illyrian area and assimilated the northern Illyrians, etc., etc.

At one point, a participant asked rhetorically “Wouldn’t it be better to stop teaching history?” This may reflect widespread pessimism, but one positive aspect was that the participants in the conference unanimously agreed on the need for improvement in history teaching. More multiperspectivity. More social history should be included in textbooks. The tradition of reproduction and learning by heart should be changed. It may be hard work to change textbooks and curricula but, as professor Eckhardt Fuchs (Georg Eckert Institute) said in a concluding remark: use your influences wherever you are, speak out and form strong networks.

The full overview of the project’s activities and outcomes can be found here: https://albanianlanguagetextbooks.wordpress.com/