Marija Čečen


Current living place:
Belgrade, Serbia

Marija Čečen

Director, Fund B92

  • Former activities:

    Journalist (Borba, Demokratija, Telegraf), Project Manager (B92)

  • My organization:
    The Fund B92 was founded by the media house B92 in 2004 as an independent foundation to promote social responsibility, development and public awareness on wide spectrum of issues relevant for Serbian and other societies in the region. The Mission of the Fund B92 is to contribute to development of a tolerant and responsible society and improve social and cultural circumstances of the marginalised social groups.

  • Examples of concrete activities I have organized/am organizing in the field of “dealing with the past”:

    Fund B92 is co-producer of documentaries on past („Vukovar – the Final Cut“, „Sajmište – History of a Camp“). Organization is part of the initiative to establish educational-memorial centre at the location of Staro Sajmište. It’s intended to collect and preserve memories on Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution in WWII, and to be research and educational centre where both history and causes to violence in the territory of former Yugoslavia, and history of fighting for more tolerant society would be studied. Currently, Fund B92 is implementing a series of educational projects connecting past and present for the school children in Serbia.

  • Concrete challenges I am facing in my “dealing with the past”-related work:

    Rejection of the topic as a relevant one for development of the society is a challenge which we have been facing for last two decades. A significant part of the society deems our activities as betrayal and/or “mercenary activity”, regardless to the presented evidence, and refuses to condemn their compatriots who had committed crimes. The state apparatus has done nothing to change the culture format, to raise citizens’ awareness on the recent events, to educate young people and set up a system of values which will not allow repetition of mistakes from both far and recent past.

  • My personal link to/interest for the topic of “dealing with difficult pasts”:
    I worked as a reporter for an independent media during the war, and was on daily basis aware of darkness pouring from everywhere and swallowing innocent people. The whole time I was trying not to be petrified with such notion. Later on, as a project manager in B92, I was involved in production of radio and TV programmes on dealing with the past, and documentaries about the war crimes, where inevitably I learned much more about these issues. I am currently focused on the three roles in the conflict: a perpetrator, a victim and and bystander. All of this, of course, through education of children and youth, as without that I cannot see any purpose in dealing with this issue. I hope they will be the ones who will never repeat our mistakes and mistakes of our predecessors.