During the three-day Peace Festival ‘22 in Vitez in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, young people, activists, and journalists sent a unique message about their desire for life without division and discrimination. As their peers in Ukraine face the horrors of violent aggression, their affirmation of the need to maintain the peace was especially powerful.
In Bugojno, a town in central Bosnia, war-time divisions remain strong even twenty-five years after the war. Although it is not an administratively divided city, Bosniaks and Croats live almost completely separate lives. Schools are divided, but also catering facilities. Everyone knows exactly who can come in and who cannot.
Sister Blanka and Mualima Šejla traveled on quite different paths through life, but those two paths left them with the same desires and motivations. Sister Blanka’s journey began in flat Slavonian County. Mualima Šejla, along with her mother and two sisters were forced out of Bratunac, a town in eastern Bosnia near Srebrenica, during the war. Eventually, these paths came together in Livno.
Amidst the few civic initiatives that have succeeded in transforming themselves into popular centers that thrive and expand upon the demand of citizens from different ethnic groups is the Mitrovica Rock School.