The aim of The Living Museum project is to create innovative ways of researching, responding to and intervening in the museum’s art collection from the Yugoslav period. This collection has been removed from the museum’s storage depot and exhibited in the main museum space. Over 2019 the museum has invited artists, curators and researchers to produce art works and curatorial and critical interventions in response to the collection, the majority of which has not been on display for more than 25 years. After a workshop, practitioners were invited to submit proposals to an open call to produce art works and curatorial/critical interventions that opened up the Museum’s art collection, and the question of the Yugoslav/socialist legacy. From July – September 2019 the museum was transformed into an open art lab as commissioned practitioners came to undertake their research and artistic production.
The History Museum of BiH collects, preserves, researches, presents, and promotes the cultural and historical heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Museum was founded in 1945, and it underwent a series of transformations throughout its history. From its founding in 1945 to 1993, the Museum was focused on the history of anti-fascism in World War II, and on fostering values of the socialist state. It was known as the Museum of People’s Liberation and Museum of BiH Revolution. The Art Collection followed the aims of a socialist museum – it was created to highlight the historical events and aspects of collective narrative such as the national liberation struggle, important battles and personalities, war suffering, the postwar reconstruction, and metaphors of social cohesion.
After the conflict from 1992-1995 the museum was renamed the History Museum of BiH. Today the Museum works as a platform for dialogue about the past and its relationships to the present. Underpinned by the concept of openness to society, by fostering links with the community, and offering its visitors museum items, stories and space, the museum seeks to open new perspectives in the BiH museology.