20th Annual Report
You may download the report here
You have before you our twentieth annual report, and behind us is twenty years of work. True to custom, we invited friends from all over the world and the region to our twentieth birthday. Firstly, we talked about “Where are we after twenty years and where are we rushing to?” and then about some other topics as well, and eventually we celebrated a little, too. Twenty years is a small anniversary for peace in the world, but for us, a peace organization created in Sarajevo in post-war 1997, it is a big one. In this report in the text written by Nedžad Horozović, you can read about everything that’s been happening to us in these twenty years and all the things we did.
What marked the twentieth year of our work is a series of ˮWar of Memoriesˮ exhibitions, held in Sarajevo, Mostar, Banja Luka, Bihać, Beograd, Tuzla and Brčko. And that’s not the end of it. The exibition continues on its path, thanks to our friends and associates who took upon themselves to organize it in their communities, therefore what follows is the exhibition in Skoplje, and we are expecting it will also take place in Kruševac, Sisak, Novi Pazar, Zagreb…
We premiered our film “Alien Home”, which is a result of an idea originated from our Training for Trainers programme, and was done by a group of our associates. We offered the film to many TV stations in BiH for screening, but nothing has been agreed yet. One of the unofficial responses we received was that „the film cannot be screened because it fails to meet technical standards, it’s not filmed with drones. “ That’s a better way of saying what we were being told in confidence, outside at the parking lot, through whispers, in response to our every activity: “Now is not the time,… You know how it is, it’s politics…“ It never seems to be the right time for dealing with the past. Nonetheless, we want to point out that it is always the right time to talk about it. Even when there’s a loud silence about something (in whatever language), that silence offers space for action.
That’s exactly what our associates do in “Marking Unmarked Sites of Suffering”. They managed to complete three activities in a year. Purple stickers were left as reminders of inhumane acts which were committed on these sites against people and that those people who suffered deserve to be remembered. At commemorations that took place in Vrivode and Gošić (Croatia) and during a visit to Vozuća battleground (BiH), war veterans of different armies together with us from CNA, indicated that the memories of victims are important, and that it is particularly difficult to talk publicly about victims when local community is silent, but that breaking an unwritten oath of silence brings liberation, which in the end, may lead towards reconciliation.
At the time when this report is printed, the results of the second multilingual competition for a short story „Biber“, on the topic of reconciliation will have been known. Judging by the number of the stories we received, which is bigger than in the first competition, we know in advance that people from the region had the need and the desire to write about reconciliation, in various ways. We are looking forward in advance to the new collection, which will be printed in the beginning of next year.
We tried to propose the adoption of the Strategy of Peace Building to Serbia’s state institutions and even held one round of dialogue on the topic. We prepared the document that we would gladly submit to further development, but beside the fact that almost everyone commended the idea, we still haven’t reached an institution willing to back the idea completely and that’s something we are going to continue to work on.
Boro Kitanoski (Macedonia), Nedžad Novalić (BiH), Nenad Vukosavljević (Serbia), Jelena Svirčić (Croatia), wrote about the situation in different states of the region for this report. We have two views from Kosovo: from Kosovska Mitrovica, by Maja Fićović , a journalist and participant of our Basic Training held in Ohrid in April 2017, and from Priština by translator Qerim Ondozi.
In previous year we also held two basic training events in peace building, the third Mir-Paqe-Мир training and the third training for students in BiH.
At the invitation of our associates we travelled to Manipur, to Colombia, participated in Mandela’s Dialogues in Sri Lanka. With the support of our associates in Republic of South Africa, 11 of us peace activist from the region took a study tour and came back full of different impressions, about which you can also read in this report.
At the times when the word peace is heard less and less everywhere in the world, somewhere behind the war cries, threats, suffering, discrimination and human distress, what we want for all of us, for all the peace activists all over the world is: solidarity, unbreakable faith that we are doing the right thing and the power to persevere, however challenging and difficult that is.