Nataša Govedarica

Nataša Govedarica

Program Manager at ForumZFD, in Belgrade, Serbia

  • Former activities:

    Project Coordinator of the RECOM project in the Humanitarian Law Centre

    Program Manager of arts projects in Heartefact Fund

    Public Relations Coordinator in Civic Initiatives

  • My organization:

  • Examples of concrete activities I have organized/am organizing in the field of “dealing with the past”:
    • Four Faces of Omarska (FFO)

    Working Group FFO investigates the political, economic and cultural implications of complex transition followed by devastating wars in the post-Yugoslav countries, with location of Omarska, BiH (mine and concentration camp from 90-ies) as a case study.

    • Kosovo Oral History Initiative (KOHI)

    KOHI focuses on life histories with the goal of providing a multi-lingual and multi-media virtual archive of Kosovo history.

    • Languages and Nationalisms

    Series of regional debates on the political misuse of linguistic science in former Yugoslavia and on the four regional languages that sprang from the Serbo-Croatian, now belong to a group known as "BHSC" or "CBSM". Lead partner: KROKODIL, Belgrade

  • Concrete challenges I am facing in my “dealing with the past”-related work:
    • Reluctance of regional political elites to actively and sincerely take lead and part in the processes of dealing with the past
    • Decreased interest of international donors in DwP topics, and consequently lack of funding for related activities
    • Isolation of the civil society and lack of public trust in our findings and standpoints, which also leads to ‘preaching to the converted’ – small circles of known and selected audience for our messages
    • Inability to communicate clearly and effectively difficult messages related to DwP processes

  • My personal link to/interest for the topic of “dealing with difficult pasts”:
    Being born in happy and prosperous Yugoslavia, I ended up living in war and post war Bosnia and Herzegovina, belonging to the ethnicity of perpetrators of the worst war crimes one could imagine. Deeply disapproving such politics and practice, in the very early age, during the Bosnian war, I tried my best to help ordinary people. I connected them with their beloved ones throughout radio waves which was the only communication for those in Bosnia to the world. I constantly looked for the way to raise my voice against the crimes and injustice, to acknowledge and comfort the victims, to redress nationalistic rhetoric and policies. I found it in the interdisciplinary approach to the theatre and civil society initiatives. That is why I am truly committed to the activities such as the ones of the RECOM coalition and the efforts of the socially engaged theatre. The political surrounding of Serbia, where I currently live, still denying its role and responsibility in the wars, and growing nationalistic tensions provides day-to-day inspiration and obligation to continue my work despite all difficulties.