Current living place:
Kozarac, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ervin Blažević

President of Optimisti 2004

  • My organization:
    The Optimisti 2004 Foundation was established on July 9th 2004 and it aspires to reconstruct Kozarac and the surrounding areas. Apart from the reconstruction we try to improve the lives of the residents of Kozarac in the broadest possible sense of the word.

  • Examples of concrete activities I have organized/am organizing in the field of “dealing with the past”:

    One of the ways of working in the sense of dealing with the past and reconciliation of antagonistic ethnic groups was trough various sport activities, which we organized during the last 9 years, like now already traditional basketball tournament which is organized during the summer in which individuals from all religious and national group participate and in that way rebuild impaired interpersonal trust and sustain bigotry and hatred. Besides this, we participated in the initiative for the establishment of the Memorial Center at the spot of the Omarska concentration camp, which would, aside of dealing with the past, mean a confession of crimes, which would lead to a faster reconciliation.

  • Concrete challenges I am facing in my “dealing with the past”-related work:

    Our missing citizens, unfortunately in our town more than 1000 are still registered as missing while the local authorities do not have the will to work on resolving this issue.

  • My personal link to/interest for the topic of “dealing with difficult pasts”:
    I was myself imprisoned in the Trnopolje concentration camp, banned from my home and today I am a returnee in my home town where I suffer grave discrimination by the local authorities…