Memory Activism and Digital Practices After Conflict: Unwanted Memories, Dr. Orli Fridman’s new book, was presented and officially launched in Belgrade, at Endzio Hub. Over 40 scholars, students, activists, and friends listened to the discussion of the book, which explores memory activism in Serbia, where truths about the recent past are largely suppressed. In addition to Dr. Fridman, the panel included Dr. Jelena Lončar, Marko Milosavljević, Dr. Vjollca Krasniqi, Dr. Ivana Spasić, and was moderated by Dr. Igor Štiks.

Dr. Štiks opened the launch by declaring Memory Activism and Digital Practices After Conflict an “extraordinarily well-written book” that, “although published as an academic book, is actually an exceptional political book because it speaks to who we are.” Each panelist then reflected on the book and proposed questions for consideration.

Dr. Vjollca Krasniqi applauded Dr. Fridman’s exploration of memory politics beyond ethnicity and her study of how the past shapes the lives of present-day communities. Furthermore, Dr. Krasniqi admired how Memory Activism and Digital Practices After Conflict demonstrates that “fragmented memory offers opportunities for emancipatory peace,” therefore suggesting hope even in fragmentation.

Dr. Spasić emphasized the memory of activism as a crucial aspect of ‘memory activism,’ as it allows generations of activists to build off one another. She referred to Dr. Fridman’s book as “an incentive to reflect further,” and asserted that it will solidify itself as part of the foundational scholarship.

Dr. Lončar praised Memory Activism and Digital Practices After Conflict for giving a voice to civil society in the Western Balkans, especially youth activists, and for its local rather than international perspective. She emphasized the importance of focusing on unity and solidarity between movements rather than division and criticism.

Milosavljević applauded the book for breaking out of the pervasive ethnocentric victimhood framework. He also talked about Dr. Fridman’s discourse on #hashtag #memoryactivism, and how digital and physical activism must work together. Furthermore, Milosavljevic emphasized the importance of understanding “the position from others” outside of activist work and how they view certain activism, in order to better appeal to them and change their perspectives.

Dr. Fridman then answered questions from the audience about digital activism, successful examples of memory activism. At the end of the hour, Orli received a loud round of applause and thanked everyone for being there to celebrate her new book, the product of almost two decades of her research and work.

The discussion organized jointly by the Faculty of Media and Communications and YIHR Serbia about Dr. Fridmann’s book Memory Activism and Digital Practices after Conflict is part of the project “Advocacy, Artivism and Education to End  Genocide Denial and Strengthen Reconciliation Process”. The project is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany. Germany supports efforts to establish a participatory culture of remembrance, regional cooperation and reconciliation in the Western Balkans region.