Memorial artistic intervention in public and virtual space, commissioned by SNV, Sisak 2014
During the period of the Croatian fascist state in WWII, a huge area of the city of Sisak served as a concentration camp for children whose parents were killed or sent for forced labour to Germany (mostly Serbian, Roma and Jewish children). The story of a children concentration camp, where 1.600-2.000 children died in inhuman conditions is still a fairly unknown or silenced fact in the historical public discourse of contemporary Croatia. In 2014, I was commissioned by the Serbian National Council to realise a commemorative work on this subject. Looking at it through the perspective of a children concentration camp, the whole city revealed to me as the crime scene, traumatised even in a present moment, because of its unprocessed history.
In my artistic intervention, I decided to used a subtle one-to-one approach and the method of “transferring the view” via technological gadgets, thus addressing the younger population of the city who are, following the intentionally generated collective amnesia, completely unfamiliar with the history of the specific locations they pass through on an everyday basis. I made stickers and badges with QR codes which were left on different spots around the city where the concentration camp for children once was located, and I realized several interviews with witnesses who survived the camp as children. The fragments of interviews associated with certain locations were then uploaded on the internet, accompanied with the photograph of the specific location. Badges as lost objects on the street served as an “invitation” to passers-by to enter the memory of the place. When picked up and scanned by smartphones, they would activate audio recordings on the website and so opened up the “cracks”, through which the memory of the place started “leaking” back and intertwined with the present scenery.