MUSEUM WORKSHOPS

Jasenovac Memorial Site started running museum workshops in December 2002 with fifth-year pupils from Jasenovac Elementary School.

It is important to point out that the initiative for visiting the museum and doing the first projects came from the pupils themselves, and Jasenovac Memorial Site directed their interest to learning about historical topics and the preservation of our cultural heritage by using the story of the Jasenovac Flower Memorial.

A meeting was organised with the memorial’s author, Prof. Bogdan Bogdanović, and the pupils created an exhibition of artwork and writing on the theme of the memorial, or on museum items they had encountered in the Memorial Museum exhibition.

The following year, on the day when a commemoration for the camp’s victims was held, workshop participants were involved for the first time in welcoming the survivors, and this aspect of the museum workshop has developed into traditional meetings between young people and survivors. In 2003 the pupils presented survivors with a collection of their artwork.

In the same year the first photo-video workshop was held. Workshop participants used cameras and video equipment to capture important events at Jasenovac Memorial Site. They made two short films, Cvijet (The Flower) and Bravo, Marko, which were entered in the 42nd Review of Croatian Film and Video Production by Children and Young People in 2004.

Museum workshop participants visited the memorial sites of the Jasenovac Ustasha camps with survivors, and in 2004 mounted an exhibition of artwork and models in memory of the camp’s victims.

They also made souvenirs using the Flower Memorial motif and their work was presented to Pope John Paul II during a visit by the director of Jasenovac Memorial Site to the Vatican.

The pupils were taught how to interview survivors and made notes on conversations and collected photographs of family members who had passed through the Jasenovac and Stara Gradiška camps. By visiting the memorial site, drawing and writing about the monument, and talking to survivors, the museum workshop participants learned about what happened here during the Second World War and also learned to respect the differences of their peers and of adults.