From Srebrenica to Utøya
Places where the unthinkable happened, and what comes after
In the aftermath of mass violence, the places where the unthinkable happened remain. These places however do not in and of themselves contain the history of what happened there – these stories need to be actively created, and actively told. What kind of challenges and dilemmas are involved when rendering places where the unthinkable happened into places of mourning, learning, and, perhaps even, political engagement? And what purposes might such places carry for today’s, and tomorrow’s, societies?
The above-mentioned questions point towards the relevance of comparing the experiences from the concrete work conducted on the sites of two very different tragedies: The genocide in Srebrenica in July of 1995, and the terrorist attack on Utøya on July 22, 2011. There is however also an ideological component which links these two tragedies together, namely the Islamophobic beliefs that, at least in part, motivated the responsible perpetrators. We therefore also ask: To what extent can Srebrenica and Utøya be regarded as Islamophobically motivated incidents? And what are the practical consequences of doing so – for Utøya and Srebrenica, for the national narratives concerning what happened, and for understandings of Europe and the European?
Emir Suljagic, Director at the Srebrenica Memorial Center.
Jørgen Watne Frydnes, General Manager at Utøya, and member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
Iselin Frydenlund, Professor in Religious studies at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society, and leader of the INTERSECT-project (Intersecting flows of Islamophobia).
Moderator: Edin Kozaric, PhD candidate at the Diversity Studies Centre Oslo (DISCO), Oslomet.