The Next Step in the Balkans


Focusing on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, the overall objective of this project was to convince governmental and nongovernmental actors at local, national and regional state levels to adapt and implement ownership enhancing strategies. Local experts as well as notable active supporters will discuss, first, the complex interaction between internal and international processes and, second, the issue of the ownership of the transition and democratization in the Balkans (considering first Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia), this in order to submit adapted and ownership-oriented recommendations. The aim of the process-oriented project is to start a process that should link analytical debates, including case-based studies, with ownership enhancing field actions implemented by think tank oriented NGOs. Regular meetings with decisions makers, politicians, intellectuals and various seminars were conducted in the region from 2003 until 2005. The process orienetd project paved the way to the creation – back in late 2003 – of the « Associations Bosnia and Herzegovina 2005 » and, end 2005, of the CEIS.

Ownership Process in Bosnia and Herzegovina


In the framework of this project – with the support of the City of Geneva, the Karl Popper Foundation and Pro Helvetia – the Sarajevo Center for Contemporary Arts (SCCA) organized an art event – action enacting ownership: « By the Commission’s Decision: Everyone to One’s Own, » realized by two Sarajevan artists Almir Kurt & Samir Plasto at the Trg Oslobodjenja – Liberation Square in Sarajevo on November 24, 2001. In the morning of the November 24, the day before the National day of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the busts of Kurt and Plasto were mounted on eight headless pedestals at the Liberation Square. During the action they distributed the leaflets: By the commission decision: Everyone to one’s own. Casual passers by, intellectuals, artists, public persons and media representatives attended this event. In the following month, SCCA took the responsibility to realize the decision of the informal “commission”, which finally deserved full support from the Cantonal Ministry for Culture and Writer’s Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the 27th of December 2001 the busts were at their original places. Seven busts were mounted back without any problems and with the support of the audience gathered that day. One incident happened when the new owners of the building of publishing house “Svjetlost” didn’t allow us to put the bust of Veselin Maslesa in front of their building where it’s pedestal originated from, claiming it to be their own property and that they don’t want this writer and anti-fascist who was Nazi victim during World War II.