I attended recently a web discussion about civil resistance and civil movement in Bosnia Herzegovina. The full content can be find here, so no need to rephrase ideas and points of view already expressed.
I would like to have only a couple of remarks, on various aspects.
Foto right: Victims of the massacre from Srebenica
First of all, I am happy to remark again how interesting is to live in this 2010, and to enjoy living in a free country, including benefiting of free Internet access allowing me to listen and be part of great conversations about topics I am interested in, independently of my current geographical location.
Second, I was very happy to be part of a discussion about an area I always was very interested in. For various reasons, my interests switched recently on other areas, but I will still keep an eye to my dear South-Eastern Europe.
What this live webinar reminded me is that Bosnia and Herzegovina changed a lot in the last years, not only as a consequence of the steps forward on the road to the EU integration, but thanks to the civil society networks created shortly after the end of the Balkan wars. The initiatives started from the communities not involved directly in the public life, as it is the case of the women, and, more specifically, the relatives of victims, as was in the case of Mothers of Srebenica.
The past is complicate and you cannot simply delete the terrible memories from the time of the wars. The situation of war criminals is far of being solved - thanks to various political arrangements as well - and democracy is advancing shyly. But the determination of some organisations is vital and changing the society they used to live by now. Dosta was able to mobilize enough people - also via the 2.0 - for permanently pressing the authorities to fight corruption. And, as a consequence, a prime-minister resigned in 2009.
I would like to have more time to follow closely the complex transformations the new countries from the former Yugoslavia are going to. What I can remark is that it is under way a new form of civic involvement and a new type of civil society that we, in the West, preferred to limit to cultural action and social-environmental militantism. A new trend for a new type of society.