1. Introduction to the war of 1990s: (Ab)use of the past in homogenizations and divisions among national groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina
To what extent and in what way was the history (ab)used in different social and political levels in the process of homogenization and creatin of national divisions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia?
Clarification of workshop
Basic idea of the workshop is to consider, based on various sources (predominantly videos and press articles), (ab)use of the past in the aim of homogenization of own group and underlining sharp differences with other similar national groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the eve of the war and in wider Yugoslavia context. Particular focus is on analysis of ‘warning the own group about history repeating’, especially in part where their national group suffered crimes committed by other (closely related) group. Recent history was mostly used in that process (especially crimes committed in the WWII). The subject of analysis will also be hidden favoring of own group while ignoring others, be it regarding cultural contribution or (especially) victims in the past.
Analyzing the source, selecting the data, extracting arguments, presenting and confronting arguments, students should come to the conclusion how important was the (ab)use of history in the process of national homogenizations and preparation of own group for possible, upcoming ,conflict. The end goal is that children develop a feeling for universal human values that are not limited to any group or any kind of people.
Way of work
A teacher gives students the instructions how to work and divides them into three approximately even groups. Each group receives documents relatd to its task:
- sources that show the process of Serb homogenization and stigmatization of others;
- sources that show the process of Bosniak/Muslim homogenization and stigmatization of others
- sources that show the process of Croat homogenization and stigmatization of others.
Students look at, read and analyze received historical sources, paying attention to key question and question(s) specifically relating to the task of their group. The result of their work should be written in the form of bullet points, which will be presented to other students by a group representative. Group 1 presents the process of homogenization of Bosnia&Herzegovina Serbs and stigmatization of others; Group 2 presents the process of homogenization of Bosnia&Herzegovina Bosniaks/ Muslims and stigmatization of others; Group 3 presents the process of homogenization of Bosnia&Herzegovina Croats and stigmatization of others.After that, all students, under the moderatin of the teacher, analyze the presented arguments (thesis) and try to answer the key question: To what extent and in what way was the history (ab)used in different social and political levels in the process of homogenization and creatin of national divisions in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
Organizations of class/workshop
1. Step one The teacher gives instructions for work, informs the students about the key question of the workshop and historical context, divides them into three groups, gives them sources to work on and clarifies to each group their concrete task in relation to the sources. (10 min)
2. Step two: Source analysis, discussion within the group and forming the thesis/conclusion (40 min)
3. Step three: Short presentation of sources analyzed and presentation of conclusions by one or two representatives of each group (20 min)
4. Step four: Final discussion through the prism of key question, moderated by the teacher. Focus is on position and arguments of all three sides, pointing to similar and different elements, methods and models in (ab)use of history in the times of decompositioning of socialist Yugoslavia (20 min).