1995 – 2012.
Seventeen years after the Genocide in Srebrenica, Women in Black in cooperation with artists from Škart and Art Clinic, remember Srebrenica with a peace action –
We will never forget the Genocide in Srebrenica
July 10th, 2012 – from 20h to 21h
Republic Square, Belgrade
Srebrenica`s genocide is paradigmatic of all war-crimes committed in the name of all Serbian people. Srebrenica is also a symbol of great moral failing and indifference on the part of the international community. Yet, as long as genocide denial, moral relativism, victim equivocation, and perpetrator impunity continue, so do the suffering, humiliation, and loss of dignity for victims and survivors.
Recently, Serbia’s President Tomislav Nikolic publicly denied Genocide in Srebrenica further confirming this profound moral failure. His denial is not only an egregious assault on Srebrenica’s victims; it is moreover a violation of the decisions of multiple international judicial institutions (including the International Court of Justice [ICJ] and the UN’s ICTY). Compounding the weight of Nikolic’s denial, at every cultural level (legal, political, legislative, artistic, through news media, popular culture, and even education) Serbia’s dominant political and cultural voices promote a broader culture of amnesia toward Srebrenica and distance from questions of responsibility.
Our planned peace action – We will never forget the Genocide in Srebrenica – continues the campaign to build a monument to Srebrenica`s victims – a Memorial Center Potočari/Srebrenica in Belgrade.
This campaign to erect a monument in Serbia to Srebrenica’s Genocide victims began in Belgrade on July 7th, 2010 with the action `One pair of shoes – one life.` People were invited to contribute a pair of shoes with a message for the victims and survivors of Srebrenica. Even after the overwhelmingly positive public response to this initial action, when the action coordinators repeatedly contacted Serbian authorities to attempt to discuss this memorial, they were largely ignored or, at best, were met with discouraging, dismissive, or out-right negative responses. This indicates to us that, in Serbia, the `state has no political will or moral capacity for empathy with the victims.`
The commemorative peace action on July 10th will portray the Srebrenica memorial on Belgrade’s Republic square. By displaying the 8372 names of Srebrenica’s victims we state that we can not and will not close our eyes in the face of Genocide, and that only by confronting the crimes committed in our name can we truly eradicate the political culture of impunity and establish a civil society based in the rule of law.
Voices of women from Srebrenica are an integral part of this peace action. Both testimonies of the Genocide and survivors’ messages to the citizens of Serbia will be broadcast throughout the Republic Square.
With this action, we show that We will never forget the Genocide in Srebrenica, that the executed have left a deep trace in our lives.
We invite everyone in Serbia and all of Serbia’s citizens worldwide, to stand with us and bear witness to Srebrenica’s crimes, and to share our regret, compassion, solidarity and responsibility for the victims of Genocide in Srebrenica.
Acknowledgment, empathy and responsibility together create a core precondition to building a just peace, good neighborly relations, and mutual trust in the region.
Žene u crnom, Beograd,
Grupa Škart, Beograd
Art klinika, Novi Sad
10. jul 2012.