Coordinator of projects of the Association of Prijedor citizens Izvor
- My organization:
The mission of the Prijedor citizen Association “Izvor” is the gathering of data about missing persons, the realization of activities for the status rights of victims and families of civilian victims of war, granting support to witnesses and the judiciary in the war crimes trials, providing programs of psychological support for traumatized people, gathering of facts regarding people that died in the war and working on establishing culture of remembrance in the local community that carries a heavy load of war crimes.
- Examples of concrete activities I have organized/am organizing in the field of “dealing with the past”:
- Conferences and round tables on war crimes in Prijedor, Sanski Most, Bihać, Banja Luka
- Commemorations for victims: death camps Omarska, Keraterm and Trnopolje; Korićanske stijene on Vlašić Mountain; Kneževo county; Hrastova glavica pit near Sanski Most
- Raising of a memorial in front of the former concentration camp Keraterm
- Building of a memorial to victims by the pit in Hrastova Glavica
- Marking the 20 anniversary of the genocide in Prijedor, like International White Armband Day
- Three editions of the Book of Missing of Prijedor County with 3176 names of victims
- Oral History Project: video archive of crimes against humanity in Prijedor
- Concrete challenges I am facing in my “dealing with the past”-related work:
- Denial of facts regarding war crimes established by courts by the Serbian political elite
- Insufficient interest of victims and families of killed persons to talk about their grief and suffering and to work on the traumas and consequences of the war
- A bizarre creation of history and collective memory in the community influenced by war crimes – example: a memorial raised for the killed soldiers on the spot of a horrific suffering of civilians in the Trnopolje concentration camp
- Cover-up of war crimes, committed against members of other nationalities, coming from politics and administration coming from the dominant population on the local level
- A ban for organizing commemorations for civil victims and a ban for erecting memorials in the city and on premises of former camps
- My personal link to/interest for the topic of “dealing with difficult pasts”:
I survived the ethnic cleansing of Prijedor, was imprisoned in the Trnopolje concentration camp, deported in a humiliating convoy, mugged and with a destroyed past, lived through the killing of seven family-members including my brother and father. The bodies of three of them have never been found.
Otherwise, I am very much aware and dreaded by the suffering of Serbs in Čelebići who were in the same way as people from Prijedor forcefully imprisoned, tortured and killed in the death camp. My motive is also the suffering of Serbs in Sanski Most in 1995 and their inability to testify about this in the public in an area where Bosnijaks hold the monopoly of suffering. This monopoly is in the same way held by Serbs in Prijedor lead by all the wartime and post-war time administrations.