Milica Tomič

The publication “Politics of Memory” is a summary and analysis of the activities of a group of artists, theoreticians, architects and writers who, in 2002 and 2003 in Belgrade, constituted a field of civil society through citizen initiative. The failure of this initiative gave rise to a political subject which has been operational but invisible for the political regimes which prevail in the parliamentary democracy of the transitional society in Serbia.

In this book, three members of the Monument Group, which formerly had 30 members and which started the citizen initiative, talk with each other and chart a field in which the newly-formed political subject would become visible and operative once again.

The book is a testimony of the complex processes that, through citizen initiative, the Group set in motion criticizing the local administration and their announcement of a monument dedicated to the victims of the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

The City administration, which was behind the initiative to build the monument, apparently accepted the criticism of the textual explanation and the requirements stated in the announcement, but never gave up building the monument, not did it reform the institution of public discussion, as was suggested in the project of the “Monument” discussion group.

To the contrary, they announced and carried out a new competition, without a reformed public discussion. The result was catastrophic: instead of a discussion, which was supposed to include all those interested from the former Yugoslavia, about the conditions of the possibility to have a monument dedicated to the memory of multiethnic and multinational multitude of all the victims of the Yugoslav wars, they erected a monument to the “defenders of the fatherland”, i.e. the Serbian soldiers, the most responsible for all the Yugoslav war victims.