PEJA/PEĆ – The International Anibar Animation Festival started its 12th edition on Friday, 23 July 2021, with a rich program of films, presentations, panels, workshops, and masterclasses. Unlike last year, when local restrictions were imposed to fight COVID-19 pandemic and the festival was held only online, this year, the festival brought life back to the beautiful city of Peja/Peć, with a hybrid program, where fans of animated films had an opportunity to participate physically in the festival program or follow it online.
To experience this unique opportunity, eight young people from the Western Balkans joined the festival as volunteers through the ROUTE WB6 project, which is being implemented across the Western Balkans 6 by a consortium led by RYCO in association with organizations from the region – Beyond Barriers, South East European Youth Network, Institute for Youth Development KULT, Lens, Youth Cultural Center Bitola, Association for Democratic Prosperity Zid and Young Researchers of Serbia.
“In my opinion, volunteering works as one of the main pillars of social emancipation, so being one of the first volunteers of the ROUTE WB6 program, to me, is a very important and prideful experience,” Jon Kola, a volunteer from Albania, said.
“Through my engagement at the Anibar Animation Festival in Peja, I realized how crucial the role of everyone is to have an outstanding performance in all parts of the festival. Moreover, I managed to create friendships with other volunteers beyond the scope of the festival to create bridges of cooperation in the future,” he concluded.
A similar experience was shared by Milica Pavlović, a volunteer from Montenegro. For her, “being a volunteer has always been one of the most beautiful occupations someone could have, but being a volunteer at a cultural event such as this one is somewhat even better and more amazing”.
“I am happy to be here at the Anibar Festival since I got a chance to learn so much about movies, animation, and storytelling and got to be a part of a big group which, with its strength of each individual, makes this festival flow easier and organizes it well, so that everyone can enjoy being here. I hope to be a part of something similar again,” she pointed out.
Each year, the festival addresses topics that concern the local society. This year’s edition celebrated solitude and self-reflection against the segregation and intolerance that isolation may bring.
If you are a young person living in the WB6 and want to expand your horizons, knowledge, and understand the Western Balkans better, the Regional Volunteering Exchange Program implemented by the ROUTE WB6 project it’s the right opportunity for all the young people in the region.
The overall objective of the ROUTE WB6 project is to make young people from the Western Balkans drivers of reconciliation and societal reconstruction, enabling them to apply European values, initiate and lead the intercultural dialogue, and regional cooperation towards socio-economic and democratic development, through different volunteering experiences around the region.