Camp Mamula should be transformed into a museum

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) welcomes the recent statement of the investor that they will form a museum of camp Mamula on the isle of Lastavica. However, CCE simultaneously warns that the overall project (boutique hotel with restaurants, shops, spa centre and etc.) does not guarantee an adequate protection of this locality, or the respect for the place of suffering of Montenegrin people, out of which some are still alive and witness the story of torture they suffered on the place which is planned to be transformed into an area of entertainment and recreation.

Foreign direct investments are essential for the economic sustainability and economic growth of the state, but not at every cost, especially not at the cost of dignity of victims of fascism. CCE previously indicated that Mamula, like every other place of suffering, should be a part of the formal system of education, as well as of special offer of educational tourism, and that the investors, and the ones responsible from the government, should place public interest above private in future investment activities. This would stimulate the development of culture of human rights in Montenegro, but also enable the tourists from other states to learn about the history and antifascist movement of local population. Montenegrin society would have multiple benefits from this, while still ensuring the respect of the victims.

Nowadays, Europe is facing many perils characterised even by xenophobic motives, which makes it that much more important to insist on social responsibility, empathy, inclusiveness and education based on the foundations of European and civilizational values. Should this fortress be turned into a memorial centre, with the possibility of hosting numerous educational events and contents, it would thus present an additional quality to overall area of entrance to Bay of Boka. Based on such concept, investors and linked persons would not be the only ones who benefit, but also the state of Montenegro and generations of those who imprinted themselves in the development of this state by resisting the repression.

Entire Montenegrin society, especially the institutions of system, are obliged to remember every crime against innocent civilians during the wars on the territory of Montenegro, as well as to work devotedly on the development of culture of remembrance and respect, recognition and empathy with victims, so that the crimes committed are never forgotten and prevented from happening ever again. Only mature societies which know how to appreciate and protect the humanity, can be regulated and secure in long run, thereby attractive for foreign investments.

Tamara Milaš, CCE programme associate