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Museum of Objects

Museum of Objects is an initiative to collect, archive and present personal memories of the Serbian citizens of the 1990s period and to create the public space for a dialogue about the period marked by traumatic changes and events in Serbia.

Museum of Objects is a public space for remembrance, shaped and created by the public. Collection is made up of every-day objects, personal mementos, letters, documents, audio-recordings and videos, photographs, and other traces of the past donated by the public, each of which is accompanied by a testimony describing the object’s personal significance to the person that donated it. It affords people the space to expose and espouse self-narratives about personal experiences that they believe to be important for understanding the period and to encounter the self-narratives of others, creating a dialogue between donors and a space in which to articulate alternatives to the dominant political-historical narratives of the period. In this framework, the initiative’s methodology focuses on facilitating the participation of ordinary people in the process of describing the recent past – what is important to remember.

Through focusing on the experiences of ordinary people, in contrast to traditional political history and its focus on historical events and elite groups, we aim to create an inclusive, open, public space in which to develop a pluralistic narrative of memory of the 1990s – the collection itself, a non-linear, self-organized narrative. By motivating citizens to take an active part in the process of remembering and documenting the past, contributing their own objectified personal memories and stories, we are creating alternative source for understanding the past and an alternative historical narrative.

As an initiative, Museum of Objects proposes a new understanding of the role of the museum, where the museum is more than an institution aimed at preserving art and culture; it becomes a dynamic platform created and shaped through public participation, which performs a social rather than didactic function.

It is intended that the collection should be continuously grown through the ongoing donation of new objects by citizens, creating a dynamic dialogue about how to understand the past and building conditions for establishing a societal consensus about how to deal with it.

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