External Associate, Local Democracy Agency Osijek
- My organization:
The Local Democracy Agency in Osijek (ALD Osijek) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization established in 1993 as a support program for the Congress of Local and Regional Governments of the Council of Europe with the aim of promoting local democracy, the respect of human rights, sustainable development and local economic development in the war torn Eastern Croatia.
- Examples of concrete activities I have organized/am organizing in the field of “dealing with the past”:
- The implementation of the Colleagues to Colleagues project in the Vukovar Institute for Peace Research and Education. The implementation of a few projects in which representatives of the national minorities, political parties in Vukovar and the Vukovar-Srijem County and young generations have been discussing on the topic of dealing with the past.
- Ten-years-long experience in working with the French-German Youth Office, organizing seminars during which the history and events in the Western Balkans were discussed.
- Cooperation on other projects of the ALD on the topic of dealing with the past as well as cooperation in the creation of audio-visual materials for these projects, such as the project Regional Partnerships for Intercultural Cooperation.
- Concrete challenges I am facing in my “dealing with the past”-related work:
Given that I live in Osijek, the topic of dealing with the past is still very vivid and the events from the past influence everyday life. The raising of awareness about the different roles in the Homeland War as well as the Second World War is not a topic that has significance in Osijek and Croatia generally. We are witnesses of the topic being exploited in daily politics, especially during the election campaign and in local, national and EU political arena.
- My personal link to/interest for the topic of “dealing with difficult pasts”:
Since I have experienced war, I feel that all resources should be invested to not have it again, not only during my time but also the generations to come after me. In everyday life and through different working experiences, I have come to the conclusion that the past is deeply embedded in the decisions of the citizens of Croatia. What is needed is a long-term process of change and influence on the mentality of the people and it is my interest to give my contribution to this.