Mathemes of Re-association is a unique and novel platform by Grupa Spomenik wherein artists, theorists and activists from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia jointly facilitate public discussions of genocide in Srebrenica. ‘Mathemes of Re-association’ insist that it is only possible to talk about and remember genocide — politically.

Drawing on psychoanalysis, philosophy, theory, anthropology and forensic archaeology, Grupa Spomenik constructs a language in which each participant in a discussion may position her or himself politically in relation to genocide. Through a series of workshops, lectures and an editorial board that has developed a newspaper in the exhibition site, Grupa Spomenik critically engages with all ideological mechanisms — local, regional, and international — which both participated in the genocide and have perpetuated it for almost 14 years.

The forthcoming publication of a newspaper will further create a space of new sociality — in exchanges with victims and perpetrators; international actors and ethno-national governments; academics and activists, what is to be done with the everydayness of genocide will be discussed in the context where dominate a mute fascination with the horror of genocide, resignation to the status quo or an outright disbelief.

Amidst resigned and ritualised commemoration of genocide on all levels — local, regional and European — ‘Mathemes of Re-association’ insist on hope by producing and practicing what is impossible today both in Europe and in capitalist ethno-nationalist states succeeding Yugoslavia: a new politics, with the living and the dead, that is beyond racist mono/multi-cultural demands.

The Group Monument enables artists, theorists and activists from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia to collaborate outside of dominant protocols of international organisations, European cultural policies, inter-state cooperation and cooperation on how to enact emancipatory gestures in the fields of arts and theory to impact productively on everyday lives under the post-genocide condition. People gathered around this initiative live their politics across cultures: in the context where all discussions of genocide are reduced to cultural and ethnic differences, they establish and practice different modes of belonging and solidarity other than ethno-cultural, which is the imperative posed by both new ethnic states and the European Union. In short, the thesis o the group is that the position which insists on cultural diversity in witnessing to genocide merely perpetuates genocide.

The genocide in Srebrenica is a European legacy. Today, genocide is something that cannot be remembered and cannot be forgotten either. European, regional and local actors do not know how to deal with genocide precisely because their policies belong to mere management of post-genocide condition, rather than its politicisation.

Grupa Spomenik, through its work on ‘Mathemes of Re-association’, sends a message to all these actors to rejoice: in the context of their inability to remember genocide, it posits politics that burst through the deadlocks of: victims taking on the identification imposed on them by the perpetrators of genocide; and ritualization on all levels whose aim is to administer oblivion rather than politically productive witnessing.

Grupa Spomenik (Damir Arsenijević, Ana Bezic, Rozita Dimova, Jasmina Husanovic, Pavle Levi, Branimir Stojanović , Milica Tomić)


March, 2009.

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