New Hope for Reconciliation

Memorial in Kozarac
Memorial in Kozarac

By Tanja Mijic

This was a first time for me to participate in a project like this. I really can say that I’m delighted. This was a whole new experience for me and I discovered many new thing even though I have lived in Prijedor for twenty years. Kemal Pervanić, who was our host is a really wonderful man and he introduced us to his village, Kevljani, that  has a historical background and beside that is a exceptional place in nature.

Community center in Trnopolje

On the first day we went on tour of Kozarac and Trnopolje, places that have historical meaning for those people who actually know what happened there. For every place, Kemal explained to us the background and history.  I’m very glad that we visited these places. For the second and the third day we were placed in a hotel ‘Prijedor’ and we had a lot of discussions and workshops and a multitude of interlocutors. This was a whole new experience for me in terms of gaining knowledge in human rights, gender issues, and a complete overview of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Some of the interviewees were Refik Hodžić, Davorin Pavelić, Minja Damjanović, Nejra Kadić, Goran Zorić, Nikola Kuridža. It took time to absorb all the stories and testimonies, but it was worth it. All people need to hear what happened here without denial of the past crimes.

I admire the courage of our guest speakers  who spoke to us because it is not easy to talk about the crimes in the past war and about the victims. It is a difficult subject but somebody needs to tell the world what happened here.

Workshop on youth activism
Workshop on youth activism

The fourth day was really special because it was a day in nature at a mountain lodge ‘Debeli brijeg’ with many young people from different organizations, such as ‘Čisto srce’ from Prijedor, Center for Youth ‘Kvart’ (also from Prijedor), some representatives who work in a projects of Humanity in Action and Most Mira and many others. We discussed different themes: the problems of young people in Bosnia, possible solutions, human rights, past war, art, and many others.

On the fifth day we had a visit in Kevljani from Senka, a teacher from Prijedor who has participated the Most Mira youth festivals and she really enjoy doing it. During the day we went on Kozara Mountain and visited some sculptures from the group of artists called ‘Association Tač.ka’ from Prijedor with their representative artist Nemanja Čađo. The fifth day was also the day when we had to say goodbye to each other and to create a hope that we will see each other again next year.

This whole project brings me hope in a better tomorrow and a new hope for reconciliation. It reminds us to fight with the spirit of the past and create a new and better future for ourselves. We must confront the past in order to bring us peace. In the end festivals and organizations like Most Mira, Kvart, Čisto srce, and Tač.ka are the way to bring out the best in people.

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