Peace Festival Vitez, B&H

Peace Festival'23 held in Vitez: Peace is accepting the diversity of other people

This year's Peace Festival'23 ended with the concert "NEVER THE SAME FOREVER with Kontra", from which young people sent a message that they are committed to building sustainable peace and coexistence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

More than 40 young people through the contents of the Peace Festival'23, which include the performance "Contract" by the City Theatre Vitez, the documentary films "Colourless" by Aida Gavrić, "The Little Prince" by Jasmine Đikoli and director Muris Beglerović, "Ordinary Heroes" by the Centre for Post-Conflict research, the exhibition of the Centre for Post-Conflict Research and the OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina at "Margina", the MIR magazine of the Centre for Post-Conflict Research, the publication "Peace as Seen by Young People in BiH" by the OSCE Mission in BiH, they discussed how they see peace, what is the connection between music and peace, i.e. how can music contribute to sharing peace with activist Amra Pandzo.

"What I liked most about the Peace Festival was that all the young people who attended shared the same opinion - peace is accepting the diversity of other people. I believe that this Festival has taught us that we are not less if we allow other people around us to have the freedom to think and express their characteristics and their belonging", said Lejla Karović from Sarajevo.

Karović added that what she liked most about the Festival was the fact that several young people with a common goal and vision were present in one place, and we proved that there is hope for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ivana Ševarika from Banja Luka pointed out that she liked the panel discussion "How young people see peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina" the most at the Festival, because it talked about concrete problems that young people face and joint forces, "we realized that only by respecting others and respecting mutual differences we can contribute to lasting and sustainable peace."

"This Peace Festival was significant and a good wind at my back for further work in the community and then beyond. She only met a lot of people of all religions and ethnicities, which was no problem for anyone. We got the opportunity to share our opinions, give each other advice and learn from everything that was told," said Dženisa Joldić from Hadžić.

The participants of the Peace Festival'23 came from more than 20 communities, including: Gračanica, Donji Vakuf, Foča, Milići, Tuzla, Vitez, Bugojno, Banja Luka, Zenica, Velika Kladuša, Mostar, Uskoplje and Kakanj.

The specificity of this year's Peace Festival'23 was the visit to Žepč, i.e. the laying of flowers on the monument to all the civilian victims of the war, where together with the mayor Mata Zovko and other representatives of the municipality they laid flowers and paid tribute to the civilian victims of the war.

"A common monument to all victims of war promotes trust and peaceful coexistence," said Mato Zovko, the mayor of Žepče, explaining to the young people how and in what way the common monument for all civilian victims of war was built.

The Peace Festival'23 was organized by the Centre for Post-Conflict Research. Amina Sejfić, project manager of the Centre, said that such programs as the Peace Festival'23 are needed by young people in order to encourage them to become active in their communities and connect with other communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to appreciate and respect differences, but also helped the common future.

"Peace Festival'23 gives a clear message that even though we are all different, we must strive towards the same goal, that is, building trust and peace," said Sejfić.

This year's Peace Festival'23 was held in the ethno village "Čardaci", and the donors are the Slovak Agency for International Development Cooperation (Slovak Aid), the Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Rockefeller Brother Foundation and the OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The partners of the Festival are Ethno Village Čardaci, Al Jazeera Balkans, City Youth Theatre Vitez and the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina.