Most Mira is a UK and Bosnia based charity. Our name means Bridge of Peace, and that is what we do - we help to build bridges between divided communities especially in rural North West Bosnia.
We are looking for YOUR help to build a Peace Centre in the village of Kevljani, where our founder Kemal Pervanic was born.
All money raised during this campaign will go towards the cost of building the Peace Centre and contribute towards the total target. Please get in touch with us if you would like to find out more. Thank you for your support!
Most Mira je registrovana nevladina organizacija sa sjedištem u Velikoj Britaniji i Bosni i Hercegovini. Naše ime je sinonim našeg rada - mi pomažemo izgradnju mostova između podjeljenih zajednica u ruralnoj sjevereozapadnoj Bosni.
Tražimo VAŠU pomoć u izgradnji Mirovnog Centra u mjestu Kevljani, gdje ja naš osnivač Kemal Pervanić rođen.
Da nastavite čitati na našem jeziku kliknite ovdje.
The Most Mira Peace Centre, designed by young Bosnian and British architects, will be a space for young people of all backgrounds to work together on arts and peacebuilding projects. For us peacebuilding involves outstretching your hand to break the invisible barrier between communities, aiming to create a chain of events that lead to better understanding of the other. Our Centre will host residentials and events where Bosnian and international young adults can learn about how the war affected this region, post-conflict Bosnian politics, and peacebuilding. It will also be a space where children and young people can learn about the arts and develop their own performances.
The site of our Peace Centre is near where our founder Kemal, his brother Kasim and other Muslim men from the village of Kevljani were rounded up in 1992 before being taken to the Omarska concentration camp. Within the Prijedor region there were three concentration camps where men and women were detained, interrogated, tortured, raped, starved and killed. The violence which took place in the region during the 1990s conflict left a deeply divided community living in religiously-segregated areas, unable to re-establish old friendships or make new ones.
Whilst the majority of arts and peacebuilding organisations are based in cities, ours is based in a rural region where there are limited employment opportunities for young people and religiously divided schools. There are very few neutral youth organisations where young people from different backgrounds can meet.
Most Mira will transform the ruins of the first building in the village that was shelled into our Peace Centre using the environmentally sustainable method of rammed earth walls. Local children and community members were consulted during the design process, and young students of architecture from Bosniak, Bosnian-Serb and Bosnian-Croat backgrounds worked on the plans alongside their British peers. We have gained outline planning permission and are finalising the designs with renowned Austrian rammed earth construction specialists Lehm Ton Erde. With your support we will create our truly unique and vital Peace Centre.
“The more I spend time in this place and speak to these people, the more I realise how important it is to make this building. It is a sign of peace work for the young people and all the people from Bosnia.”
- Martin Rauch (founder, Lehm Ton Erde & Honorary UNESCO Chair of Earthen Architecture)
Since 2009, Most Mira have worked with 1,000s of children and young people from Prijedor, and a committed team of teachers, artists and activists, to run a series of successful theatre and peacebuilding projects. The young people have always asked us to be a permanent presence and facilitate year round projects and now we have the chance to do just that. You can help us raise the remaining funds to build our Peace Centre. We have raised £80,000 to date and with a further £100,000 the Peace Centre will open its doors to new generations of peacebuilders and artists.
What has Most Mira done to date?
Most Mira has spent the last nine years working tirelessly on building peace in the Prijedor region through art festivals, theatre projects and peacebuilding residentials. We work with Bosnian and international activists, artists and designers to support local children and young people.
Between 2009 and 2011, our youth arts festivals brought more than 1,000 children to Kevljani, a small village in Prijedor where the future Peace Centre will be built. These children were from four local schools and two youth organisations in communities split by social, religious and ethnic divisions. This was a rare opportunity for everyone to socialise in a safe space and take part in creative workshops facilitated by 120 local and international volunteers.
Since 2012, Most Mira has also:
- Organised annual four month-long theatre projects for primary and secondary aged students which culminate with impressive stage performances. The plays have attracted an ever-growing audience and the secondary school students write and produce their plays supported by a director and local facilitators, many of whom work as teachers in local schools.
- Initiated the Project on Peacebuilding, bringing together young Bosnian and international adults for annual workshops on democracy and post-conflict politics in Bosnia. The young people critically engage with current peacebuilding movements in the region, asking how and why communities continue to be divided after conflicts.
The Peace Centre project has grown from Most Mira’s hard work, focus and dedication.
What will it look like?
The architectural design will transform a war-ruined private house on the site into a vibrant public destination for the arts and learning about peacebuilding. The site in Kevljani is a remnant of the last war, located seven kilometres away from the former Omarska concentration camp.
The building has been designed through a series of participatory workshops and educational residencies. This way, the building itself, as well as the design and construction process, will represent the process of transition towards reconciliation.
How far have we got?
The concept design received outline planning permission in 2016, after which our team of architects and designers began working on the final design, with the hope of obtaining the permits and initiating the first phase of construction in Autumn 2018. The main phase, including the construction of rammed earth walls, will start once we obtain the necessary funds.
Key to our work has been having young Bosnian and British architects and students working alongside each other. The architectural design process mirrors the purpose of the Centre and becomes a holistic part of the charity’s own work and the reconciliation process in Prijedor.
What we will use: Rammed Earth
One part of the research during the project’s development included detailed mapping of existing pre-war industries in the local community, as well as natural resources and materials that could potentially be used for construction. The Most Mira team discovered that earth was one of the most common traditional building materials, which was used in various techniques and forms in Prijedor. This building technique therefore represents an important part of the cultural and architectural heritage in North West Bosnia, as well as in parts of neighbouring Croatia.
Rammed Earth technology combines the modern process of forming walls with the traditional earth material to reinvent forgotten traditional ways of building and turn them into something current and relevant in the contemporary context. The benefits of this method include low carbon emissions, low cost of raw materials and good thermal mass, while also celebrating an honest way of using earth as both structure and facade.
Why we have chosen this approach
This project is about sustainable reconciliation; we bring together young people from Prijedor, Banja Luka, Sarajevo and other regions of Bosnia. Most Mira believes in their potential and power and together we want to create a better future for all. It is about creating architecture that is alive, an architecture that unites the various aspects of this complex post-conflict context, an architecture thought of not solely as a finished product, but rather a continuous process. It is about building a society in a divided country.
To find out how you can support our campaign by spreading the word, please use our Peace Centre Supporter's Pack. If you would like to find out more about the project please contact us using the 'Message' link below.
The Most Mira trustees would like to thank all our volunteers for their help with the project's development and the fundraising campaign, especially:
- Liam Baldock - filmmaker
- Vernes Causevic - project architect (Project V Architecture)
- Tim Coles - architect & crowdfunding team
- Lucy Dinnen - architect (Project V Architecture)
- Jemma Hoare - crowdfunding team
- Adriana Keast - architect & filmmaker
- Meliha Solakovic-Hadzovic - construction project manager & adviser
- Laila Sumpton - crowdfunding team
And our professional consultants team:
- Project V Architecture - lead architect
- Lehm Ton Erde - rammed earth specialist
- Kunic Gradnja - local engineers
Most Mira is a registered charity in the UK (charity number 1134274) and in Bosnia (organisation number 11062326).