Mapping places of remembrance and the remembrance culture of Novi Sad represents a years-long project dedicated to mapping, recording, interpreting and presenting different locations – places of collective remembrance and commemoration, as well as other locations that are important for the remembrance culture, collective memory and the identity of the city as a whole. The project was started with the basic goal of affirming and researching remembrance culture, nourishing its critical aspect, as well as researching different forms of the city’s collective memory.
While aiming to accomplish the specified goal, by the end of 2014, and as part of the realization of the first phase of the project, an internet presentation was created and initiated which focuses completely on the different segments of the researched topics. In that context, this site, with a specifically formed and uniquely conceptualized map and database created via a mapping process as well as with an additional library of content, represents the basic results of the activities on the project’s realization. All the content that is available on the site refers to different aspects of topics related to remembrance culture and the city’s collective memory and as such contribute to the affirmation of these subjects on a general level.
The database and the library of texts, that are available on the website, enable the visitors, through a whole variety of critically examined information and educational texts, to get to know the different aspects of remembrance culture, or more specifically the places of remembrance and the official locations of commemoration in the Novi Sad area. Likewise, with regards to the noted personal memories of citizens, or more precisely, the mapped locations of personal memories that are located in the database, they represent a special kind of valuable documented material.
When we take into consideration the length and complexity of the analysed topics, the complexity of the methodological work of interdisciplinary research and the mapping process, as well as the conditional dynamic of its realization, the project itself will be years-long and carried out in periods.
The First Phase of the Project
The first phase of the project, called Mapping the Places of Remembrance in Novi Sad, was carried out from Jun 2014 to Jun 2015 in cooperation with the Centre for Collective Identity and Political Mythology Research from Novi Sad and Културног центра Новог Сада. The realization of the first phase of the project, whose results are published as part of the content available on this internet presentation, included mapping that was conducted on locations of war atrocities which took place in the Novi Sad area and its surroundings, during the First and Second World War. In other words, the mapped regions that are placed in the database on the website include the biggest number of locations (places of remembrance and commemoration) on city territory and its surroundings which are connected to the First and Second World War. As part of the first phase of the project, a special part of the site was launched with the goal of publishing readable and scholarly articles by authors , that deal with different aspects of the topics which are connected to the remembrance culture of Novi Sad. Activities in the first phase of the project included publishing one readable text, while in the upcoming development and realization periods, the forming of some sort of library, with a bigger number of published texts, was to be included.
The Second Phase of the Project
The second phase of the project, called Remembrance Culture of Novi Sad began in May 2017. Part of the required assets were provided by the Secretariat for Culture of the City of Novi Sad as part of the activities of carrying out the second phase of the project, whose institutional leader was the Centre for Collective Identity and Political Mythology Research. , there have been significant increases in the existing database, or in other words, dozens of new locations were mapped, whereby the focus was towards the mapping of locations connected to personal memories of citizens, of places from the socialist period, in the area of Novi Sad. Apart from that, as part of the activities of the second phase of the project, a specific group was formed aka a digital library consisting of published scholarly and professional texts that deal with different segments of the analysed topic.
A New Period in Project Development
As of January the 16th 2019, the implementation of the project was handed over to the Archives of Vojvodina чиме је уједно отпочела нова етапа у развоју пројекта. База података као и садржаји на постојећој интернет платформи уносиће се сукцесивно у складу са предвиђеним планом активности на пројекту, истраживању архивске грађе као и теренским антрополошким истраживањима.
Крајем 2020. године, уз финансијску подршку Градске управе за културу Града Новог Сада, извршено је техничко унапређење и комплетан редизајн интернет презентације са базом података.
The Significance of the Project
Taking into account the concept and its complexity, as well as the lack of any serious previous research of the topics in the given territorial context, the project, and this internet presentation as one of its main components, has a pioneering characteristic. In other words, by creating this platform, a unique database was formed and with that a basic starting point for further and more complex interdisciplinary research of the remembrance culture in the city area. By taking into consideration the importance of the project, or more specifically the results of the years-long research, the ISSN National Centre for Serbia deemed the project an ”integrative source of special significance for Vojvodina”, and gave it a special ISSN (online) number, whereby the internet platform was, with its project database, listed in the National Register of the National Library of Serbia.
The Methodological Approach
The methodology in the first phase of the project was, in significant measure, based on a critical interpretation of existing materials, published in scholarly and professional publications, and to a lesser extent on the analysis of archival holdings. Likewise, during the mapping of certain locations, some analyses were, to a lesser extent, based on collecting individual memories of the citizens of Novi Sad, or in other words, they were also based on collecting materials related to the so called oral history. In that sense, activities regarding the project were partially focused on critical interpretations of different types of narratives of the citizens.
The research methodology, during the second phase of the project, included anthropological field work and writing down the citizens’ narratives (personal memory) about different locations in the city area from the socialist period. In other words, in the context of implementation of the second phase of the project, interviews were conducted with over forty informants, via the method of unstructured interviews, about a few dozen different locations that were included by the mapping.