Bosnians and Herzegovinan’s across the world are being asked to contribute their stories, pictures and personal items to create a unique virtual museum to mark the 25th anniversary of the genocide.
Remembering Srebrenica is appealing for submissions relating to the war, genocide and its aftermath in time for the online unveiling of the museum during Srebrenica Memorial Week in July.
The charity announced last week it has been forced to cancel more than 2,000 events due to coronavirus including the UK Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral and the virtual museum is part of a range of alternative online commemorations of the 25th anniversary.
Genocide survivors, refugees who escaped the war and the children of Bosnians who began a new life across the globe all have stories and these can told through family pictures, children’s toys, a loved one’s wedding ring or a simple video.
The victims of the genocide will also be remembered as surviving relatives are being urged to submit pictures, anecdotes, poignant belongings and anything else which capture the personalities of those tragically killed.
Munira Subašić, survivor and President of the Mothers of the Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves, said: “Our personal testimonies have been at the forefront of seeking truth and justice. The search for the remains of our loved ones means that they will never be forgotten.”
She added: “The 25th anniversary is a painful reminder that we have to do everything in our power to make sure that genocide is not denied and history not repeated. The virtual museum and the collection of personal stories along with an item are of imperative importance. I hope everyone that sees the call will share their story.”
“Personal memories and items that remind us of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina should be our guiding light in raising awareness about war atrocities and genocide. We owe it to ourselves to have our stories be heard.”
More details about the groundbreaking virtual museum will be revealed in due course but the emphasis is now on getting people to submit their stories in the coming weeks and months.
The vast array of personal stories and their variety will help ensure the tragedies in Srebrenica, Sarajevo, Mostar, Prijedor, Foca, Visegrad and elsewhere in Bosnia will never be forgotten.
Thanks to the technological advancements of the last five years almost everyone has access to their own video camera on their phone which makes submissions so much easier than the last landmark anniversary of the genocide five years ago.
Arnesa Buljušmić-Kustura and Amra Mujkanovic, from Remembering Srebrenica, will be collating the submissions and appealed to Bosnians of all generations to get involved.
Amra explained just as every story is unique there is no right or wrong way for the person to submit their story or video.
She said: “Videos can be musings on your experience during the war and genocide, remembrance on the everyday life during that period: including how you survived, your refugee journey, experience with mines, shelling, concentration camps, displacement from home, family relationships, anything you believe to be relevant.
They are also able to provide help and support in preparing and translating submissions. Submissions are accepted by Friday, May 22.