Final event Medialogue

The LDA was pleased to have the opportunity presented by the collaborator and ex volunteer of the Agency Ms. Elena Andreeva to coordinate the #Medialogue project during the period of its final realization and final event held in the Municipality of Brtonigla on 16th of May 2017. As a young researcher she took part in Europe Lab, youth forum organized by Eu-Russian civil society forum held in Zagreb and Vukovar in July 2016. The project was elaborated by 7 young researchers and participants from Italy, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Macedonia Ukraine and Germany who collaborated during the following months for the realization of the project design. The aim of the project was to inspire young generations (approximately from 16 to 19) to think about the events occurred 25 years ago, specifically the collapse of the Yugoslavian and Soviet state systems, German reunification, the process of European integration. How this goal was achieved: through showing youngsters how current newspapers deal with those topics, an guided assessment of the press by one or more experts. At local level, youngsters’ Italian high school of Buje were involved. Ivan Jelicic, PHD at University of Trieste, helped the participants in the analysis of the press. Each student wrote a representative sentence describing the implemented activities at the end of 2 meetings, which were translated in different languages and published on a board along with those written by the other participants. The Croatian board is currently in the Italian high school of Buje.

The final event was held in the Italian community of Brtonigla. After all the participants greeted each other, the focus was narrowed down to the project results and to the participants’ feedback concerning the implemented activities. During the debate, the students could express their ideas and compare them with Ivan Jelicic e Marco Abram, researcher at “Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso”.

From the debate emerged the lack of a collective sense of belonging to the events which shook the Jugoslav Federation in the first 90s which has been fostered by the project activities. Several interesting starting points stemmed from the conversation between student and researchers. These, focuses on the collective Istrian perception which was not directly and emotionally involved in the conflicts. It was stressed the role of the Italian newspapers in the analysis of the events occurred in 1991 which did not actually dealt with those events thoroughly and impartially. In this regard, Abram explains how, albeit Italian memory is minimal about this, volunteers and activists of the conflict’ remembrance is strong and widespread in collective memories.

The analysis of the Croatian and international press stresses that focus was on military matters, as it is always talked about veterans whereas civil casualties are mostly neglected. To this extent, Abram shows an outlook of how 90s wars in Croatia, Bosnia Erzegovina e Serbia are depicted nowadays. The academic agrees with the results obtained through the analysis made with the students about the way the Croatian conflict is remembered, by stressing the patriotic nature of the conflict. However, about Bosnia Erzegovina, where a memory divided according to national identity exists, there is not dominant collective memory. In relation to Serbia, different collective memories are divided according to  existing national identities: the role of the country in the first stage of the conflict, the burden of the responsibility for the root causes of the conflict. Hence, the memories of the 90s conflicts are most likely to be neglected other than the NATO bombing in 99.

Without expecting to be exhaustive, this project fostered the strengthening of personal and social processes to face the past, which is core feature for shaping a peaceful future.