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Belgrade 'Museum Of Violence' Shows Serbia's Ugly Side

The exhibition is designed to explicitly inform the general public about the problem of violence in society today.
An exhibition at the Belgrade Cultural Center's Podrum Gallery this month uses X-rays, medical reports, and personal testimonies to document the role of violence in Serbian society.

"Museum of Violence" focuses on acts of violence motivated by discrimination, domestic violence, and violence against minorities and other marginalized elements of society.

Curator Nevena Ilic tells RFE/RL's Balkan Service:

Everyone knows that violence harms people in general, but the effect is stronger when you see the picture. We therefore targeted visuals, so the atmosphere is a little horrifying, so that people realize that violence is bad.

As for me, it might even be better to have more photos -- that people just see injuries, bruises, swelling that cannot be seen through the X-ray.

The exhibition was put together by KulturPark, which has produced special cultural programs and works on cultural policies directed at young people.

Organizers plan to take the exhibition around the country.
Organizers plan to take the exhibition around the country.

Kulturpark's director, Radojica Buncic, told Balkan Insight that 10 cases would be on display along with lectures, debates, and workshops about violence. "This is only our first step, as we plan to tour Serbia with this exhibition," Buncic said.

Buncic adds that the setting is intended primarily for those who are not thinking about violence and don't notice it.

"I think it would be good for people to see what was happening to someone else, because after that experience they might change their minds on the issue of violence and perhaps take a more active approach to solving this problem," Buncic tells RFE/RL.

WATCH: The exhibition's official video

According to Sandra Orlovic, head of the Humanitarian Law Foundation, Serbian society persistently ignores violence.

What is more concerning about the lack of commitment of these institutions is the reaction of the political and intellectual elite to the violence that currently takes place in society, especially the violence that marked the 1990s.

It seems to me that we can often hear some uncivilized statements that this violence should be forgotten and the people who today are living with the consequences of this violence should also forget, so that there can be a brighter future and entry to the EU. It seems to me this is the leitmotif of today's Serbia.

-- Dan Wisniewski

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