A Memento in the Heart of Uherské Hradiště
The prison in Uherské Hradiště, Czech Republic, has a brutal history. In the early days of the so-called First Republic, workers striving for better social rights were isolated here. During the Protectorate, many Czech patriots and anti-fascist fighters were also imprisoned here.
Executions did not begin here until after the Second World War when retributive trials took place in the prison. After the communist coup in February 1948, at the time of the trials staged by the communist authorities, the prison became a place of suffering for hundreds of people. In particular, opposition politicians, clergy and intelligentsia. In the prison, adjacent to the regional courthouse, people were tortured and interrogated with methods similar to the Gestapo. The testimonies of those who went through the horror there, as well as the records of the official protocols, bear witness to this.
Immersive Exhibition Behind the Wall
The project is a collaboration between non-profit organisations Historia Futurae and Memoria. Its aim is to create a mobile application: The Immersive Exhibition Behind the Wall, for smart devices using mainly augmented reality (AR).
This will be a fully virtual exhibition, with ambitions to replace functions of the classic brick-and-mortar museum. The history of Uherské Hradiště at the turn of 2021 seems complicated, even after many years of attempts to commemorate its tragic past with dignity. The creation of the immersive app is intended to partly erase the debt we as a modern society owe to this place and to the people who suffered there.
The app will be free to the public. It will also be primarily site-specific, to be used in the vicinity of the closed prison.
The work is being carried out by a team of activists, historians and developers. The purpose is to share and communicate the Uherské Hradiště prison's history, and the fate of the victims persecuted for their communist ideologies. It will also be an example of innovative commemoration of one of society's more repressed memories. We want to support the development of a society that can enjoy increased access to its cultural heritage thanks to digital technologies.
The immersive Exhibition Behind the Wall will be divided into visitor tours. The first tour will consist of up to seven stations, each with its unique augmented reality (AR) content. For example, a 3D AR hologram guide, an interactive prison interrogation, or stepping into a virtual prison cell.
The total budget is EUR 29.000, which covers the development cost of 3D data for up to 7 stations, UI/UX and design and development of an app for iOS and Android. Thanks to the support from private donors, as of June 2021 we have the first third of the budget covered. We shall apply for the second third from public funds.
We plan to raise the third third, approx. EUR 9.700, in a crowdfunding campaign.
There are things that need to be done. This is one of them.— Memoria & Historia Futurae
Memoria is an NGO that emerged from the Civic Initiative for the Decent Use of the Uherské Hradiště Prison, formed around 2009 when the former prison building could be sold at public auction to be used for any purpose. The NGO strives for a dignified and meaningful use of the site behind the wall separating it from the city centre. A strong historical narrative, a non-black and white vision, a theme of seeking justice, and striving for a fair future and a democratic society of citizens who are familiar with our shared past.
Historia Futurae is an NGO and platform where modern technologies such as augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) intersect with historical themes. Historia Futurae is built on the principles of openness, transparency, collaboration, and communicating history to the widest possible audience in an engaging, unprejudiced and unbiased way.
Anna has her roots in Moravian Slovakia and has been intensely interested in the Uherské Hradiště prison since her grammar school years. She graduated from the Theatre Faculty of the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno. As an arts manager, she is involved in several cultural projects. Her home theatre is HaDivadlo in Brno, part of the Centre for Experimental Theatre, where she works as stage manager. She is the chairwoman of the NGO Memoria.
Naďa was born in Uherské Hradiště. She studied in Olomouc, Vienna, and Prague, worked in Germany and Brussels, and worked at the Regional Office of the Hradec Králové Region. During 2011-2017 she was the director of the Museum of East Bohemia in Hradec Králové; she worked for the National Museum of Agriculture and the Ministry of Culture. She is now working in the private sector and is engaged in cultural consultancy; she is a member of the International Committee for Museum Management INTERCOM (ICOM). She is a member of the Institute for the Digital Economy board, a member of the Robert Bosch Foundation's SKARB alumni association, and the NGO Memoria.
Jakub is a researcher at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, teaches museum studies at the Faculty of Education of Charles University and works as a freelance curator and consultant with his company Exponaut.cz. He is the organiser of numerous exhibitions and co-author of several books, including the 2020 publication "Museum in Discussion. How We Exhibit Contemporary History". He is a long-time member of the NGO Memoria.
Jan is the founder of the non-profit Historia Futurae and co-founder of the creative agency Little Greta and the AR and VR agency VRCØT. He is interested in 20th-century history. He is an eternal doubter about the meaning of marketing and therefore seeks self-fulfilment in the non-profit sector.
Václav studied history and makes his living as a marketing specialist with experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors. He is a consultant for the AR and VR agency VRCØT. He continues to study history and is currently working on his dissertation on the suppression of the left-wing resistance by the Gestapo in Brno, Czech Republic.
Tomáš is the co-founder of the creative agency Little Greta and the AR and VR agency VRCØT. He is a big fan of medieval history in particular. He is involved in the activities of Historia Futurae on the creative level and as a project manager.