The Heartefact Fund – Establishing Ground for Memorizing LGBT History in Serbia

Project Summary

The project Establishing Ground for Memorizing LGBT History in Serbia is a multidisciplinary research action aimed at (re)discovering the history of homosexuality in Belgrade, Serbia and Yugoslavia and to question and challenge “official” histories and offer alternative understandings and narratives. Also, the aim is to contribute to creating the collective history of LGBT community thus supporting the struggle for LGBT rights and freedoms, while spreading the public awareness on history of homosexuality in Serbia thereby creating the local base, safe grounds and backup for further action. Besides, the intention is to motivate and include new actors, design and test new approaches and methods in the struggle for LGBT rights.

 The basic methodology foresees thorough multidisciplinary scientific research and its publication, as well as preparation, recording and archiving oral histories of members of the LGBT community, which having in mind the lack of material traces, represent a precious or even unique source of information on the experiences and lives of the community members in the second half of the 20th century. Special attention is dedicated to a set of outreach activities aimed at transferring ownership of this initiative to members of the LGBT community and other relevant actors.

 The project is realized by the Heartefact Fund in cooperation with the Center for Visual History and the Parobrod Cultural Center with support from the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the British Embassy in Belgrade and the Coalition for Equality STEP.


Implemented activities from 16.7. – 16.08.2014.

As a part of Heartefact Fund’s larger scale “Intruders” platform, the project “Establishing ground for memorizing LGBT history in Serbia” has the goal to discover, gather and systematize relevant material which deconstructs and challenges the “official” histories, creates space for new history readings and rediscovering the history of LGBT community in Serbia and the region.

One of the main activities of the past month was finalizing the process of collecting oral histories, which has been ongoing for some time and it’s finally in the last stage. As many of the oral histories are of course collected using the interview method, most important stage of the archiving process will be interview transcription which comes in September.

Another activity of great importance was the public event held in the Cultural center “Parobrod” on the 30th of July. It was first of the two planned public discussions (second one is planned for late September) aimed at familiarizing the LGBT community with the project itself and the results which have come out of the research. The discussion also served as promotional event for the publication “Among Us”, a first extensive research study on LGBT history in Serbia. Audience consisted of LGBT organizations, activists, wider community as well as major human rights activists and defenders, academics and researchers, all of whom had excellent critiques and comments both on the discussion and the publication.


Implemented activities from 17.8. – 17.9.2014

As a part of Heartefact’s larger scale “Intruders” platform, the project “Establishing ground for memorizing LGBT history in Serbia” has the goal to discover, gather and systematize relevant material which deconstructs and challenges the “official” histories, creates space for new history readings and rediscovering the history of LGBT community in Serbia and the region.

Central activity of the past month was transcription of the recorded interviews and their archiving. The process of archiving is conducted in cooperation with the Centre for Visual History within Faculty of Media and Communication, University of Singidunum.

Another activity was the public event held in the Human rights house on 25th of September. It was a promotional event for the publication “Between us”, a first extensive research study on LGBT history in Serbia, published by Heartefact. The event was a part of the side program of this year’s Pride week which was held on September 22 – 29. The audience consisted of LGBT organizations, activists, wider community as well as major human rights activists and defenders, academics and researchers.

Phase two of the project “Establishing ground for memorizing LGBT history in Serbia” was set around familiarizing the wider community and the general public in Serbia with the research outcomes, the publication, collected histories etc.

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