REMEMBRANCE & MEMORIALIZATION

Throughout BiH, sites of atrocity often lack any kind of formal memorial to commemorate them. Transitional justice experts warn that the absence of acknowledgement of war crimes not only affects survivors’ ability to come to terms with their past but also harms efforts aimed at promoting future coexistence. Numerous memorials have been established that either contain no educational components or reflect a partisan interpretation of history, which only deepens existing divisions. In the absence of a law that regulates memorials on the sites of prison camps, places of rape, and execution sites, decisions are left to the local authorities as to which sites of suffering may be commemorated. A memorial to victims of one ethnic group in a municipality where another ethnic group is in the majority becomes a major challenge. Survivors will sometimes place small plaques at the sites themselves, but in many cases these have been removed or defaced.