Located in the north-eastern part of the Adriatic Sea in Croatia, Goli Otok [lit. the “Bare” or “Naked” Island] is most widely recognized as a relic from the Yugoslavian past. Goli Otok housed a prison camp of the same name during Tito’s reign over Yugoslavia. The island was chosen as a prison camp during Tito’s regime predominantly because of its geographical and natural features: it is an island without vegetation, unpopulated and remote. This prison camp was a result of the totalitarian political ideology that permeated Yugoslavia and can be compared to Soviet Russia’s Gulag. Its primary purpose was to “re-educate” the so-called “enemies of Yugoslav state” in the aftermath of a famous political split between Stalin and Tito in 1948.
SCARS OF HISTORYSince the summer of 2016 the NGO Magis has organized historical-political workshops in the form of summer schools that discuss totalitarian ideologies and far-reaching consequences of totalitarian mentality. 2018 marks the year when we have decided to open this type of a summer school to international youth (19―30 years of age). This year’s programme is planned under the name The Scars of History with the goal of educating the public even more about the far-reaching consequences of totalitarian mentality and about its impact on history on a socio-cultural level. In other words, our goal is to show that totalitarian history leaves a permanent mark on society, which remains as a scar on community. These scars testify to the troublesome past, individual acts, and dehumanising aspects of political power and regime.
PROGRAMMEThe workshop on totalitarianism is planned as a one-week event on Goli Otok, specifically, in ex-prison camp buildings known by the name of Žica (lit. the “Wire”). The interdisciplinary approach of the programme combines various elements of history, philosophy, sociology, and political science, with various lecturers. The special part of the programme incorporates traditional Jesuit spiritual environment, in which the NGO Magis was originally formed.
The scars of history – a workshop on totalitarianism