news 28 May 13

Srebrenica Video Project Presents 500 Survivor Interviews

A project documenting the testimonies of Srebrenica survivors has handed over 500 video interviews for a multimedia room at the massacre memorial centre in eastern Bosnia.

Harriet Crawford

The Cinema for Peace Foundation, which is documenting the memories of Bosnian war victims, presented the video interviews to the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Centre on Monday.

Selma Hadzic, the director of Cinema for Peace, emphasised the need to finish the filming of all the testimonies about the July 1995 massacres as soon as possible because of passing time.

“We have a huge problem with the age of the survivors. We really have to speed up the process,” Hadzic said.

“It’s almost 20 years after the war and we would really love to hand over the entire project to the memorial centre on the 20th anniversary of Srebrenica,” she said.

The Cinema for Peace project was established to create a Genocide Film Library in December 2011. It has so far recorded a total of 1,307 testimonies from Srebrenica survivors and aims to film 10,000 stories by 2015.

It is Bosnia’s first oral history project and is non-political, Hadzic explained.

She said that the witnesses’ accounts are “objective, non-biased, historic... and educational”.

The mayor of Srebrenica, Camil Durakovic, told BIRN on Monday that “living remembrance is the only promise that this won’t be forgotten”.

He said his connection to the project was personal.

“I am a Bosniak and I did survive this genocide,” Durakovic said.

Some of those who supplied their personal narratives said it was hard to talk again about their wartime sufferings.

One of them, Kadefa Rizvanovic, of the Association Women of Podrinje, from Bratunac, said that despite difficulty, she considered it vital to send a message to the younger generation.

“[They need to] know how and what we survived,” Rizvanovic said.

The Genocide Film Library aims to promote tolerance, human rights and reconciliation both in Bosnia and abroad.

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