EXHIBITION WITCHES – HISTORY OF PERSECUTION
Persecution as a form of human behavior is as old as human race. Principle of persecution was present through history in every society no matter how progressive, what was its geographic location, social system or religion. While analyzing this phenomenon, we noticed that there are certain rules and patterns that make persecution “necessary” and “justified”. Presence of discrimination and persecution never ends even though throughout the history, humanistic ideas were developed and societies strived to more humane social systems. We could even dare to say that in time, persecutions became more thorough and methodical and their actions rather concealed. The goal of this process is helping society in all of its segments (education, culture, science, politics etc.) become aware of risks and threats that are manifested in certain types of behavior, so it could recognize those situations that might get out of control and lead people on the path of violence and hatred.
Multimedia exhibition as one of the initial intended products of this project, would aim to display processes and specific aspects and to reveal elements of which conflicts, manipulations, persecutions and “penalizing societies” are consisted. Analysis and research in dealing with historical findings and documents would be the instruments for detecting the symbolical sphere of violence and destruction conceived on depersonalization of the victim. Project participants would further transpose those symbols and contents into their own artistic response and create a new language for interpretation.
The project (which includes debates, roundtable discussions, and film screenings in its research process) will involve nongovernmental organizations, which are engaged in human rights (of different groups), historical archives, libraries, universities, media, as well as renowned artists, experts in fields of psychology and history and national and foreign institutions. Professional supervision of the project would be conducted by Judith Large. She has been working for years as an international expert in conflict analysis, associate of various universities, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations dedicated to peace and world stability.
The initial phase of the project is meant to take place in the Center of Fine Arts and Education – Šumatovačka would be consisted of multimedia exhibition that would show extracts from important historical documents, artistic drawings, photographed materials, scientific studies, survivors’ testimonies and film documentaries on the subject of persecution through history. Our idea was to enable further evolving of the project in several directions: exploratory, artistic and international, but also in different venues.