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Wake up, Europe! Support and solidarity mobilizations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and its citizens, 1992-1995

A project of the History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in cooperation with Memory Lab, with the support of the French Institute for Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Goethe Institute Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Covid pandemic and the migration crisis have put the question of solidarity in Europe back on the agenda: What do we mean by solidarity? What can be done to strengthen solidarity with societies and people who are existentially threatened? There is an example of European solidarity in the near past that can be very inspiring for today, even more as it is very little known: During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992-1995, numerous initiatives arose in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, the Czech Republic and other European countries, and ordinary citizens, NGOs, informal groups and artists articulated support and solidarity with Bosnia and Herzegovina and its citizens in various ways: by helping Bosnian refugees who arrived in different European countries; by collecting and transporting food, medicine, clothing and other equipment to Sarajevo and other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina; and / or by organizing demonstrations, meetings, information campaigns and other activities, aimed at mobilising their fellow citizens, putting pressure on their own governments to change their policies towards BiH, and supporting civic groups in BiH and other parts of the former Yugoslavia. It was a broad and very heterogeneous mobilization, a mixture of humanitarian and civic engagement, combined with the discussion about the importance of defending European values, and for many of the actors involved, cooperation and solidarity with Bosnia and Herzegovina continued also after the war.

The aim of this project is to provide general information about the various forms, activities and actors of the solidarity movements with Bosnia and Herzegovina in Europe during the 1992-1995 war and to illustrate them concretely using individual examples. By increasing awareness and knowledge of this little-known but important chapter in recent European history, the project is also intended to stimulate the discussion for today: What can we learn from these mobilizations? What can we do today to show solidarity with people and societies that are experiencing war or other crisis situations? The center piece of the project will be an exhibition, which will be accompanied by other activities, in particular a round table as well as educational workshops for young people.

Exhibition opening: October 20, 2021, History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo

The project is financed by the Franco-German Cultural Fund.

Contact:

Elma Hasimbegović, History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, histmuz@bih.net.ba

Dr. Nicolas Moll, Memory Lab, moll.nicolas@gmail.com

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