From the heart of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Young people send messages of peace and tolerance

Cover photo: The PCRC Archive

Understanding, non-violence, love, respect, tolerance, health, and friendship are just some of the words used by 50 young people from Bosnia and Herzegovina to describe their understanding of peace. The fourth Peace Festival was opened on February 22 in the Čardaci ethno-village in Vitez.

For five days, young people from 20 different cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina will participate in this year’s Peace Festival, which is being organized by the Post-Conflict Research Center (PCRC) for the third year in a row.

Photo: The PCRC Archive
Photo: The PCRC Archive

Tatjana Milovanović, PCRC’s Director, explained that the Peace Festival is an opportunity for young people from different cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to meet and socialize, and to share the lessons they have learned in their communities and work together to build a better and more peaceful future.

The Slovak Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, through the SlovakAid program, helped found the Peace Festival back in 2022. Their Consul and Deputy Ambassador Patrik Turošik joined the Festival opening and noted that on this occasion three years ago, he became impressed by the amazing young people present.

“Take advantage of your opportunities. Talk about how you see your country. What kind of future do you want to fight for? You, young people, are the best ambassadors of your country, wherever you travel promote its beauty and your vision of a better future,” said Turošik.

Photo: The PCRC Archive

Representing another Festival partner, OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Glorija Alić greeted the participants and thanked the organizers for choosing a small town – Vitez – to send messages of peace to the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Until now, we have seen that peace has been discussed at these Festivals through different formats, and it is truly one of the beautiful things about this Festival that you have shown that peace can also be talked about through music, dance, poetry, as well as different forms of art,” said Alić.

Photo: The PCRC Archive

Peace Festival opened with an exhibition opening from the project ”On the Margins” which was developed by PCRC and OSCE Mission to BiH, to break down prejudices about the Roma population, citing positive examples of their life and integration in BiH.

Photo: The PCRC Archive
Photo: The PCRC Archive

Velma Šarić, PCRC’s Founder & President, recalled that the idea of creating the Peace Festival was to primarily allow young people to learn about peace, multiethnicity and diversity, and talk and socialize through alternative content. “We wanted to gather as much peace content as possible in one place and create a unique platform for youth and the civil sector.”

Photo: The PCRC Archive

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The Post-Conflict Research Center is a non-governmental peacebuilding organisation and research centre based in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

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