Youth empowerment in Srebrenica
We aim to create, through a week of research, workshops, perfomances and discussions, the base of a strong and collaborative youth community by involving young talented artists from 5 countries: UK, Italy, Romania, Serbia and Bosnia.
Who are we?
A group of young people from Srebrenica who participated in the international project The Complete Freedom of Truth and want to encourage new generations to be part of this creative community, enlarge their vision and express themselves through the arts.
Why are we doing this?
To grow up in a society where culture and arts are not respected enough, young ones usually get discouraged in their first steps to explore their natural talent and creativity. As the arts are an universal language, for a little town, where communication is no longer a priority, is vital to find a way in which one can safely express.
By bringing our friends from our International TCFT youth community for a week of interactive research, workshops and discussions on the future of youth in Srebrenica, we are passionate to create the proper environment for this youth exchange and show the importance and beauty of European cultural collaboration.
Through theatre, poetry, music and fine art workshops, street performances and exchange of ideas between young people with different backgrounds, we intend to attract young ones who are interested in expanding their horizons.
We want to find out what is needed in our youth community will ask young people themselves what they want and encourage their involvement and activism. This will be a great first step for the future projects and development of our local and regional community and Bosnian society.
TCFT 2015 - Srebrenica
The Complete Freedom of Truth gave us a wider vision, a greater understanding of the world, values and an inclusive environment to express ourselves and experiment, a stronger voice, confidence and hope.
New generations are coming and we wish for them to have the same life changing experience that we did. Filling the soul in society today is not a priority anymore. The materialistic approach that many of us are taught today only divides us, but the artistic and creative part of life brings us together.
We believe that the only way Society can function is through culture and the arts.
This video is created by Robert Golden as a presentation of our experience and work in 2015 during TCFT.
For more information about TCFT please visit: thecompletefreedomoftruth.com
West Dorset and Bridport in particular has had a long friendship with Srebrenica in Bosnia as a result of the local performing arts company Opera Circus creating exchanges and residencies between young people in both towns and regions. This crowdfunding will enable a group of volunteers from West Dorset to travel to Srebrenica to help build vitally needed youth activities through the development training of The Complete Freedom of Truth, a long term youth arts and culural programme. One of the aims is to develop youth leadership and youth led programmes of work supporting other young people and creating a network to encourage support and positive change in the UK and Europe. This project will give a chance to young people from Dorset to learn about another culture, engage with new friendships and opportunities and learn to help both their own and other communities. The relationship between the two towns is very important to everyone involved and ongoing.
What do past participants say?
"We are alone and in despair. We need all of you who want help and do something in this sad and empty town. If you ask me all projects and all the people must unite and work together. No more things like this project is mine, that one yours, that one belongs to that organisation. NO. It must be one project called Srebrenica. Tina this is the most difficult period in the history of Srebrenica EVER. We all must be very productive and very ,very quickly or this town will be DEAD, completely dead, very soon. We don’t need resolutions of death like support. We need resolutions for LIFE. "
- Muamer Civic (Young Musician, Srebrenica)
"Bato and Azemina (local restaurants), told me this is a project that happens once in 15 years. Taxi drivers have been so kind and thankful for the support. Rada Lipa shop, very happy and thankful. Everyone else had just best words to say about all the group, the programme and the people they accommodate."
- Milena Nikolic (Srebrenica)
"The residency in Srebrenica was my introduction into the world of TCFT and it changed my life for the better. I grew as a youth leader and built life-lasting friendships, but one of the greatest things about being in Srebrenica was that it positively changed my mindset on Eastern Europeans and made me fall in love with Bosnia. That is the beauty of TCFT."
- Shaniqua Benjamin ( Youth leader - TCFT - UK)
"Srebrenica was smiling! It's great what you have done! So many young people, so many happy faces, so much positive energy."
- Politician, memember of the local Assembly (Srebrenica)
"If we could have something like this each month, I would never wish to leave Srebrenica."
- Jovan Jovic (Srebrenica)
"We are somehow programmed to follow certain paths just because is accepted by the majority and never even thought to stop and ask ourselves: Is this what I want? "
- Marko Stankovic (Young musician, Srebrenica)
Please support us so that we can continue the positive work that started in 2015. You will be making a genuine difference in the lives of young people and the community of Srebrenica as a whole. We cannot do this without you.
photographs by Robert Golden