Dr. Benjamin Moore has taught at Fontbonne University since 1994. In 2006 he cofounded the Bosnia Memory Project, which is dedicated to preserving the memory of Bosnian refugees and their children by recording oral histories and collecting artifacts and documents. In 2007 he helped to develop the traveling exhibit Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide, which has been shown at twenty-one locations across the United States, including Capitol Hill. In 2016, Moore’s work garnered a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which will fund the development of courses about Bosnia in St. Louis–area high schools.
Memory, Oral History, and a Generational Divide: The Bosnian Diaspora Community in St. Louis
St. Louis has the largest Bosnian community outside of Bosnia-Herzegovina, consisting of more than 50,000 people who fled the war and genocide perpetrated in the homeland between 1992 and 1995. Drawing on firsthand accounts by Bosnian survivors of war and ethnic cleansing, this presentation highlights the lessons that we can learn from the experiences of Bosnians who came to St. Louis as refugees. It also considers the complex positions of the second generation of Bosnians, who are dealing with the legacy of war and genocide, sometimes with little understanding of its origins. Finally, it asks the audience to reflect on the implications of our Bosnian community for St. Louis’s racially divided history and multiethnic future. As much as possible, the presentation privileges the voices of St. Louis Bosnians who have shared their stories with the Bosnia Memory Project.