The theme for 2018 is “Acts of Courage”. We learn about Srebrenica to remember the horrors of the past in order that we will not repeat them. However, we can and should draw inspiration from the acts of bravery, heroism and a determination to resist hatred. By highlighting these acts of courage on the 23rd anniversary of the genocide, events can help us to:
1) reflect on the possibility of choice, even in difficult times. The ordinary heroes of Bosnia were defined by the choices that they made in seemingly impossible circumstances. It is fitting that the word “hero” comes from the Greek “to protect”, as these individuals chose to protect others – their loved ones, their neighbours, their communities.
2) inspire hope as a means of resistance to hatred. What separates these everyday heroes from their neighbours who fell prey to the genocidal ideology of Karadžić, Mladić and others? In a time of fear, they chose hope. Hope found many ways to flourish – through children continuing their educations in the hope of a better future, through the arts, through the sharing of jokes even in the darkest times and through the stubborn insistence of people continuing to live their lives as normally as possible.
3) empower people to speak up in defence of “the other”. Too many continue to deny that the genocide happened and glorify the perpetrators. Genocide survivors, who were never meant to return to the “ethnically cleansed” territory, returned home and took great personal risks to speak out, demanding the truth about the fate of their loved ones, sharing their stories and testifying in the courts to bring the architects of the genocide to justice.
We suggest that you consider using our template speech and presentation which you can adapt to suit the nature of your event:
– Speech for Srebrenica Memorial Day 2018
– Survivor Story printable exhibition 2018
Incorporating a Pledge to Remember towards the end of your event is a brilliant way of getting participation from attendees, by ether reading the pledge aloud or lighting candles.
We will also have booklets available upon request, which will be full of stories highlighting inspiring and extraordinary acts of courage.
One of the most impactful ways to engage attendees with Srebrenica is through survivor stories. We recommend that you honour their brave testimonies by sharing their stories through our event videos which will be available shortly.
Additionally this year, the Post-Conflict Research Centre has kindly given us permission to use their brilliant collection of short films, entitled “Ordinary Heroes”. The “Ordinary Heroes” documentary series depicts real-life stories of Bosnian citizens, who, by choosing to rescue the ‘other’, became heroes in a time when their country was committing acts of genocide. Each 30-minute episode documents the stories of rescuers and those they saved. To date, the series consists of four episodes: “Mina and Ferid,” “Zoran and Azra,” “Jagoda and Hamdija,” and “Đorđe and Salih.”
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or all 0121 454 3343 for more information