International Summer Camp „Venues of Victims // Venues of Perpetrators“
Finally after several months of intensive preparations more than 60 young people from 12 European countries travelled to Zagreb (Croatia) to participate in the international summer camp “Venues of victims // Venues of perpetrators. Mapping, decoding & processing the role of historical – civic education in (European) Youth Work“. The project, aimed at dealing with the alternating relationship between historic-civic education and (contemporary) Human Rights Education is implemented in close collaboration between youth education institutions, youth NGOs, foundations, museums, remembrance places and research institutions from Belgium, France, Croatia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, the Czech Republic and Germany. The summer camp deals with different perspectives and core themes as the interdependency between ideological order and representation of history, the totalitarian and authoritarian regimes in Europe of the 20th century and contemporary challenges in Croatia as well as common, European issues nowadays.
In order to have these different perspectives the camp will take place on different venues in Croatia as Zagreb, followed by Vukovar, Pula and Rijeka. All activities in the camp are implemented by young youth leaders, supported by a project team and external experts.
The first two days in Zagreb were shaped by the first mutual getting to know each other, the exploration of the local environment and the debate of the theme “ideological orders and representation of the past” with the main focus on “representation of past in the museum” as well as “history in the public space”. The participants are facing now three intensive days in Jasenovac and Vukovar, characterized by dealing with the themes “ideologically motivated violence” and “violence in times of transformation”.
It´s nearly impossible to mention specific highlights due to the enormous amount of visited places and encounters. Nevertheless the following program elements can be emphasized:
On the way to Vukovar the group will visit the former concentration camp of Jasenovac. The visit of the camp site is part of the theme “ideologically motivated violence in the context of the 2nd World War”. The camp site – also called the “Auschwitz of the Balkans” is contested in the Croatian and Serbian general public since decades and part of revisionist rethorics. In Vukovar, a city marked by the civil war in former Yugoslavia the participants have the opportunity to meet the representatives of the initiative “Zenski Sud” (Women’s Court) and to deal with testimonies of experiences with injustice and violence today and in times of the civil war. Also the visit of the “SENSE Center for Transitional Justice“ in Pula is dedicated to nowadays dealing with the experiences of violence in Croatia and other post-Yugoslav countries. The group will further work on the theme of „ideologically motivated violence after 1945” by visiting the former “re-education camp“ on the island of Goli (Goli otok).
The project is financially supported by the program Erasmus+ Youth in Action, the Commissioner for Culture and Media of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Federal Agency for Civic Education and the Children- and Youth Plan (KJP).
Photos: Theresa Rhode