The project Testimony – truth or politics aims to increase the production of knowledge capital, by spreading the reality of the facts regarding the wars – their participants, causes and consequences by gathering testimonies from direct participants of the wars and anti-war activists. Reflecting those testimonies through exhibitions and conferences emphasizes the role of the testimony itself as an act of active citizenship in creating a historical narrative through public debate. During the conflicts, as well as after them, the officials of all successor states of Yugoslavia used some of the testimonies in the media, in schoolbooks, historical exhibits, exhibitions and museums in order to justify their nationalistic, ethnic and religious positions. Others, who would not accept the justifications of these positions, were silenced through direct political repression and through the systematic elimination of reference frameworks which would connect these testimonies with the reality that it is assumed they represent.

It is precisely this type of testimony that points out the functioning of the system which is the testimony that Primo Levi defines as antifascist and, as such, political. Based on Foucault’s theses we suppose that the function of intellectuals is not to lead the masses, but to fight against the obstacles that their colleagues place before them, which disenable them from being effectively heard in the public sphere. Since the wars ended, new generations emerged that have no direct experience of the war. They have been informed about the war only through such manipulative narratives. This project shows how individual testimonies can work as a critical force against the official history and reflect a common experience of these wars and their consequences. Artistic research, exhibitions and conferences will study how reality emerges from a plurality of testimonies, regardless of different regulative measures that have been taken by various listeners – individuals, institutions, theories, disciplines, ideologies and language itself – in order to unify speech.

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