Literature professor at the Užice classic gymnasium.
- My organization:
Literature Festival “Half way” arose from the intention to provide through modern and high quality regional literature an insight to secondary school student into events of recent and distant past, to discuss about topics that are frequently not discussed at all or are “covered” with often problematic narratives. Dealing with literature in languages needless to translate is particularly important at the times when due to political and ideological reasons those languages are intentionally pushed away one from another.
- Examples of concrete activities I have organized/am organizing in the field of “dealing with the past”:
Discussions with writers, lectures, book readings which provide a platform for discussion about topics from recent past, which are ignored or evaded by modern society and school system. Meeting the authors from the region enables secondary school students to see and understand common past from different perspectives. At time of the Festival, as well as during the year, the school gets visited by guest lecturers and peers from several cities in BiH. These gatherings are very valuable.
- Concrete challenges I am facing in my “dealing with the past”-related work:
Topics that we are dealing with during the “Half way” Festival and also during our regular annual activities together with kids from the Reader’s Club, and the discussions we have are not always acceptable for some professors (especially for History teachers), which results in situation where our students along with our activities are exposed to dominantly nationalistic narrative about recent past at the History classes.
- My personal link to/interest for the topic of “dealing with difficult pasts”:
Fear from possible repetition of history in the region and conviction that inadequate position towards the past in decades subsequent to the WW2 actually led to the new cycle of violence on the Balkans, combined with awareness that country I used to live in was far better than the one I am currently living simply force me not to stand aside and calmly watch how education system that I am part of contributes to creation of new generations ready for hatred.