WITH “Lessons from 1991” we wanted to analyze the situation in Yugoslavia in 1991 and find answers to some of the questions that arise in Europe today. We can see many parallels between then and now (the economic and political crises, securing of borders as well as the rise of nationalism) and we believe, that Europe needs to learn from the Yugoslav lessons and find better solutions to similar problems. The Yugoslav experience is a valuable experience for Europe, because it is part of the European past and as such reminder of the consequences of specific actions and events.

“Lessons from 1991” looked at the year 1991 through the eyes and lenses of photographers who have documented the war in Yugoslavia. They say that in war, truth dies first and this is also true for photography. In war, the seemingly impartial medium becomes a means of manipulation and deception. Photography becomes a tool for reaching political goals. We looked at this phenomenon and invited photographers from all former Yugoslav countries to contribute photographs for an exhibition that will visually present the role of nationalism in the Yugoslav war. The exhibitions and discussions with photo reporters, journalists, historians and politicians took place in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Germany.

The project is a means of remembrance but it helps us analyze and critically question the current situation. What happens, if a community doesn’t have common goals any more, but is driven by partial interests? What happens, when borders are closed down (again)? How can people, who have until recently lived together peacefully and tolerant become enemies? These are all burning questions in the EU today and people who have with a watchful eye documented the events before and during the war in Yugoslavia can offer us new and important answers and food for thought that will help Europeans understand not only the war in Yugoslavia but also learn lessons for the future of Europe.

Partners:

  • Društvo za evropsko zavest
  • Fotoklub Maribor
  • Organ Vida
  • Fotosavez Beograd
  • Kultur- und Bildungsprojekte e.V.