Spomenik

The one thing either an 80 or 15 year old can do with a phone is dial a number and listen – thus we’ve developed a phone and internet monument infrastructure gives places phone numbers where anyone can just call up the place they’re at and have someone (as acted by a narrator) who has a personal relation to that massacre site, as a survivor or relative, tell them about what they’re looking at and lead them through the experience. What we’re essentially doing is creating a museum audio tour in the woods, except in an extremely personal manner with the personal device everyone has in their pocket. The effect is an intensely site-specific experience, more powerful than any ordinary walking tour, where you listen and use the most effectively narrative tool available – your imagination.

The students were briefed that their phones were required for class and that they needed have credit and charge. At the start of the path to the mass grave, they were presented with a sign telling them to call the number to find out what happened here.
The students then walked through the forest and listened to the dramatised narrative of one of five survivors (of approximately 2200 executed at this site).
The path led to a another station where they called the monument system back to find out what happened next in the story.
t the end of the tour and lessons, the poet Tone Kuntner, who was also the narrator of the audio tour, read a poem he had written about the massacres and reconciliation.
As part of the lesson and experience, the students were debriefed by their teachers who also provided the wider context of the site.
The tour ended with where the story ended, with the collapsed cavern system where the 2200 people are buried. The students were then prompted by the system to leave an audio message if they chose to the site as well as a text message. At the end of the tour and lessons, the poet Tone Kuntner, who was also the narrator of the audio tour, read a poem he had written about the massacres and reconciliation. A pilot website was built for after the tour and lesson to show the wider context and the map of all the 430-600 massacre sites in all of Slovenia after the students had been led through the experience of one story, creating a narrative funnel so to speak. The site also would display memorial messages from the site that were recorded by phone.
A pilot website was built for after the tour and lesson to show the wider context and the map of all the 430-600 massacre sites in all of Slovenia after the students had been led through the experience of one story, creating a narrative funnel so to speak. The site also would display memorial messages from the site that were recorded by phone.

Spomenik was one half of Pervasive Monuments project done with Horizon Digital Economy Research which  replays and relays the events of post World War II Communist political  massacres in Slovenia. The project concentrated on visitors happening  upon massacre sites and their hidden histories, as well as on  educational scenarios where school groups used the Spomenik platform as  part of school lessons centred on the mass graves and events surrounding  them.