ALBANIA/BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA/SERBIA – Supported by RYCO and the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund through the second RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals, Creative Mentorship in Serbia, in partnership with Rruga me Pisha Foundation in Albania and OKC “Abrašević” in Bosnia and Herzegovina, implemented the project “Transforming the Region One Conversation at A Time – Inspiring Youth Cultural Cooperation”.
The project took place from December 2019 to November 2020, and brought together young people from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Youth learned about promoting and establishing regional cooperation and reconciliation through culture, by engaging in common activities with mentors and between each other in the field of arts. The project encouraged intergenerational, cross-sectoral and intercultural dialogues through a diversity and variety of cultural initiatives.
Implementing partners and organizers addressed the challenges related to the lack of cooperation, dialogue and exchange in regional cultural activities in the Western Balkans by empowering youth to establish the basis for a new cultural and regional youth network.
“Projects like this are challenging – bringing people together and accepting differences always is. But, carrying through a youth regional cooperation gained a new meaning in 2020. The silver lining in the whole situation was exactly why we all gathered around this project – the cooperation. All the young participants were open and willing to continue their shared work, to learn from each other, and to support each other. I think this is of great importance and tells us a lot about the potential that regional youth cooperation has, especially in demanding times like these,” PR and Social Media Manager Ms Milana Vojnović stated.
During workshops and mentoring sessions, youth were inspired to take action and critically think about topics such as dealing with the past, wars and conflicts, identity, diversity, as well as how arts and culture can enable spaces for mutual cooperation, shared experiences and forward-looking approaches.
“Not only will we produce an art piece together, but we will also present it to great people, receive feedback, learn something new and grow,” one of the project participants Mr Ensar Hadžić underlined.
Moreover, the project provided the young participants with an opportunity to explore the possibilities for joint initiatives on the local and regional levels, to bring new ideas in dealing with the past, culture and diversity.
“Getting to know young people from the region can open many opportunities, not only to work together, but also to take a step towards a more peaceful, forgiving and brighter future,” Ms Romina Ruda, project participant, said.
Another project participant, Ms Miljana Mikojković underlined that the best way to establish good relations and dialogue between young people is to give them an opportunity to meet each other, exchange insights, and make their own impressions.
For more information on the RYCO supported project “Transforming the Region One Conversation at A Time – Inspiring Youth Cultural Cooperation”, its activities and achievements, please visit the website of Creative Mentorship by clicking here.
To learn more about the participants’ and teams’ results in creating inspiring short movies and documentaries as well as to access their final products and project ideas, please click the button below.
Photos of the offline activities: Igor Kokar