This project is only available on desktops! It is not fit for mobile devices.
Momentary Lapse in Memory is an interactive digital environment concerning the memory landscape of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. It investigates the impact of ephemeral factors on the archival practice. By doing so, it makes space for the mechanisms of both memory and its transmission, to steer and sway. It makes way for the unreliable.
Yugoslavia in 1999 was riddled with detonations, warning sirens, families huddled in basement shelters. NATO announced that it will be bombing the region to stop the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo caused by the oppressive nationalist regime of Slobodan Milošević. This bombing was branded as a humanitarian intervention that will bring peace and democracy to a region lacking it. Instead, it brought numerous civilian deaths and a legacy of radiation for future generations to make sense of.
In a sense, here you will find an archive of recreated memories of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. All of which have been woven from the experiences of my friends, family and overall kinfolk, whom I interviewed. I myself do not remember anything, as I was born a few weeks before the first detonations caused shockwaves half a kilometre areal distance from my home, in the region of Rakovica. I am merely a witness of witnesses.
This project could not have been realized without the help and guidance of many lovely people, who I would like to thank here. A warm thank you to:
Irena, Maja, Tanja, Uroš, Marko, Danijela, Hana, Milica, Bisera and Vladimir for sharing their memories with me and allowing me to reconstruct them in this project. As well as for being in constant dialog with me and helping me understand the memory landscape of this event in a more nuanced way. I am forever grateful for and indebted to the space and conversations you shared with me.
Arimit Bhattacharya for technical consultation and collaboration. And for being patient, kind and humorous when teaching me the often slippery ropes of programming.
Teoniki Rozynek for sound advice and the mastering of soundscapes. As well as for the endless words of encouragement and care.
Belle Promchanya for guidance, teaching, countless conversations and continual support.
Sara Hamadeh for expanding my views on archival practices and exposition. Together with guidance, teaching and endless encouragement.
Velvetyne Type Foundry and Raphaël Bastide for creating open source free fonts, which includes the font Avara used on this platform.
Momentary Lapse in Memory has been made possible by the generous support of the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).
Discussions of war and displacement. Soundscapes that vary in intensity and engagement that could be overwhelming.