Final event of the project Balkans – House of Diversity
The final event of the project Balkans – house of diversity supported by European Union, IPA Cross Border Programme Serbia–Bosnia and Herzegovina, and realized by Group 484 and Human Rights Office Tuzla was held in Bele Zemlje, Uzice from 27-30 January 2012.
Youth from six towns from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bijeljina, Brcko, Tuzla, Uzice, Kosjeric and Pozega along with their mentors, project team, local stakeholders and contemporary writers from the Western Balkans, associates and friends of the project gathered once again to discuss the mediating role of literature and art in the region and to present the products of the project Balkans – House of Diversity. A youth representative from each town delivered a ten-minute presentation on the activities and results of their year-long work and effort to overcome the differences and show how cultural diversity, besides on the personal level, can also be useful for development of the local community and tourism.
The final event was followed by side events: literary evening, workshops and lectures for both mentors and high school students who participated in the project. Dejan Ilic, writer and publisher from Belgrade and Nenad Velickovic, writer and professor of the Sarajevo University talked about why and how it is important to read regional literature today. While working with high school students, they both analyzed different stories from modern regional literature, emphasizing universal ethical values and literature as a way to evolve one’s values and judgments. Tijana Spasic, literary editor of the Cultural Centre “Grad” talked about literary and publishing scene in the region and gave her reading recommendations to youth and mentors.
Within the three day event a Tourist Tour through the Eyes of Writers in Visegrad, BIH was organized. With a courtesy of Divna Vasic, literature professor of Visegrad high school, the participants had a chance to visit and hear about the Bridge on the Drina, the central place of the same-named novel by Ivo Andric, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, as well as other tourist localities related to the novell: a school where he finished his primary education, a house where he lived in that period and a graveyard of Lotika, one of protagonists in the novel.
The project was not closed with a goodbye but with plans and hopes for a future cooperation.