Topic and Content: Visit to Park of Friendship, the only memorial dedicated to Non-Aligned Movement and reflection on political position of the Socialistic Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Cold War Era
Park of Friendship (Park prijateljstva) is situated in New Belgrade and spreads across 14 hectares that are leaning on banks of the Sava and Danube Rivers. Park was created in 1961 and it was dedicated to a newly organized Non-Aligned Movement. In central area lies Peace Alley with 26 plane trees planted by presidents of non-aligned countries and a sculpture of a flower made by sculptor Lidija Mišić.
During Tito’s rule, many presidents and official political leaders planted a tree as a sign of friendship. Among them were Indira Gandhi, Richard Nixon, Queen Elisabeth II and many others. Serbia continued this tradition until today. Members of the Rolling Stones were among the last one to plant a tree here in 2008 when they held concert in this park. In the midst of this park stands monument called Eternal Fire that was dedicated to victims of NATO bombing, erected in 1999.
Park prijateljstva is occasionally used for various culture events including concerts and Beer Fest that is held every August.
Target group: Participants of different age, gender, educational and social background
Pedagogical goal and methodology: Research action method would help participants to gather information and reflections on politics of Yugoslav socialist society during the Cold War Era and later implications of this politics. Park dedicated to Non-aligned movement and aimed neutral political position of Tito’s Yugoslavia with later added monument to the victims of NATO bombing in 1999 provides an extraordinary framework for analyses of socio-political history and its impact on everyday life. Participation of people with different backgrounds and experiences would improve understanding of different perspectives in former Yugoslavia.
Evaluation: Not sure about methodology; any suggestions are welcome
Agreements with local partners: Contacting a group of friend (maybe my students, participants from other organization or other visitors of Park)
Timetables and milestones:
May – Contacticng participants/partners
– Arranging the visit
June -Visit and evaluation
– Reporting on the project