BiHMe: Personal Memories on War and Detention in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project leader: Peter van der Maas
Supervisor: Franciska de Jong
Duration: 2011 - 2013
Funding: Netherlands Embassy in Bosnia, Sarajevo/Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, funding scheme MaTra


Erasmus University Rotterdam (Erasmus Studio and historians from ESHCC)
Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN), Sarajevo
Human Rights Center of the University of Sarajevo (HRC)
Universiteit Twente, cluster HMI, Enschede
Noterik B.V., Amsterdam
DANS, The Hague

Project Description

In this project, 85 citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina from various social layers and regions are being interviewed about their personal experiences during the violent war between 1991 and 1995. The objective is to document personal experiences on war and detention that cannot be found in written sources and that provide important information for the process of dealing with the past. A specific feature of these narratives is that a high percentage of the narrators is severely traumatized. This asks for an adequate policy of aftercare after the interviews have been conducted and an intensive effort in editing the final results in order not to put the narrators in danger. The intention is to find the resources to increase the size of the collection, as the aim is to provide a representative sample of narratives from various ethnic entities and regions in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Just as the project conducted in Croatia, the interviews will be transcribed, elaborated, translated and indexed, and an appropriate subset of the material will be stored on an open internet platform with direct access possibilities. By default and based on so-called informed consent from the interviewees, the full version of the narratives (i.e. without any cutting of the material) will be made available for the international scientific community in a password-protected environment, to ensure that there will be no illegal use of this restricted material. By presenting these narratives in an edited format in an online environment, BiHMe aims to contribute to the process of dealing with the past.

Project Results:

Online portal with 90+ oral history interviews subtitled in English

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