Memorial Culture in the Former Yugoslavia: Mothers of Srebrenica and the Destruction of Artefacts by the ICTY
This chapter analyses the impact of the recent destruction of Srebrenica victims' artefacts by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The reasoning behind the destruction of more than 1,000 artefacts was that these pieces of evidence were no longer needed for the proceedings, and there was a lack of space in the ICTY for their preservation. Despite these explanations, the Bosnian association 'Mothers of Srebrenica' (Mothers) described this act as 'another genocide' and a 'genocide of memory', conducted by the 'house of justice' without the consent of the survivors. Drawing on interviews with HatidMehmedovic, the founder of the Mothers and Belma Zulcic, a representative of Bosnian Society for Threatened People based in Sarajevo, this chapter critically analyses the ownership of artefacts collected from the Srebrenica mass graves and challenges the right to destroy the victim's final effects. The chapter contends that the choices as to what is remembered and forgotten have immense moral implications for individuals and the country. It argues that the destruction of artefacts was unnecessary and deprived survivors of the memories of their loved ones.
The Arts of Transitional Justice: Culture, Activism, and Memory after Atrocity
Law and Society