October 2022 - Most Mira event at the Bosnia Herzegovinan embassy in London
Most Mira is very grateful to the Ambassador for Bosnia Herzegovina for hosting an event on World Peace Day, Wednesday September 21st 2022, which presented our work to an audience of government, academics, UK Bosnians and Most Mira funders and donors.
Ambassador Vanja Filipovic introduced the evening by talking about playing our parts in restoring and building sustainable peace. Most Mira does that in an area which saw some of the worst war crimes and he hoped that our work would inspire others to support us. Education was important in peace building and he was delighted to host the launch of Most Mira trustee Victoria Fifield’s exhibition of pictures 'Long Division - Growing Up in Contemporary Bosnia and Herzegovina' which tells the story of the current situation for young people navigating the segregated education system and attempting to make sense of the legacy of conflict and tensions that surround them. And presenting Most Mira’s work was an important contribution to Twelve Years of Peace, the B/H Ministry of Foreign Affairs campaign to present B/H to an international audience as an example of success in promoting peace.
Kenneth Morrison, Professor of Modern Southeast European History and Research Theme Director (Peace, Equality and Social Justice) said that he was delighted to have become a trustee of Most Mira. As a PhD student he had read founder Kemal Pervanic’s book 'The Killing Days' and, when he eventually met Kemal, he was hugely impressed by MM’s unique approach to peace building by bringing young people together from different ethnic and religious communities. This, Kenneth said, created dialogue, mutual understanding and friendships between schools; it involves grass roots, community led peace building – a model that needs to be applied further afield. He added that in today’s febrile geopolitical situation, and in the increased political tensions surrounding the elections in B/H in early October, MM’s approach is much needed. On the International Day of Peace we are all very much aware how peace is fragile and must be guarded and nurtured.
John Clark, a forensic pathologist who had worked extensively in Bosnia, described three chance encounters with individuals which put that experience into personal context and cemented his satisfaction in becoming a trustee of Most Mira. Working on a mass grave near Sanski Most and meeting a young man looking for his father’s body which has still never been found; chatting with a woman in an airport queue in Sarajevo and realising that he had carried out post mortem examinations on two of her brothers; and earlier, while in charge of the UN mortuary in the country, picking up The Killing Days in a bookshop and years later developing a close friendship with its author Kemal. These were three individuals who deserved a better start in life, something which Most Mira sets out try to do for others. People in the room could no doubt recount their own experiences, and more, individual narratives being a potent means of driving home the message to all of us. Bosnia may have had its moment in the world’s conscience, since supplanted by multiple other international events, but a charity like Most Mira still deserves support alongside all else.
Kemal Pervanic, Most Mira founder thanked the Ambassador for hosting the event, the staff of the BiH embassy and Samra Coricic who first laid the groundwork for it; Most Mira’s past and present trustees, its facilitators and its volunteers – mentioning Tish Kester who had helped get MM off the ground at a crucial moment, photographer Max Crow Reeves who had been a volunteer at an MM festival 12 years ago and Tim Coles, a volunteer on the Peace Centre project. We wanted especially to thank the young people MM has worked with, many of whom now run our projects, building local capacity, enthusiasm for the future and motivation to stay in Bosnia Hezegovina. Through MM he has learnt that there should be no distinctions made between participants, beneficiaries, end users, partners. In MM all involved are both partners and beneficiaries. He was traumatised by his own
experiences in the war and has learned that the country is traumatised, survivors are traumatised and in peace building courses young people talk about their parent’s trauma – ‘I don’t know who my parents are.’ It is this collective trauma that is a threat to the future. We have to know our past. And at MM we provide opportunities to do this.
Vanja Filipovic thanked the speakers and invited guests to eat and drink and look at Victoria’s ten 10 beautiful pieces of artwork which draw on influences from traditional Balkan designs, presenting a juxtaposition between its contemporary themes and ancient, folk-like symbols. See article 'Long Division - Growing Up in Contemporary Bosnia and Herzegovina', including examples of the artwork and a description of how they reflect the experiences of young people growing up in Bosnia and Most Mira’s work.
September 2022 - Online exhibition of artwork sold to support the peace center
Most Mira is lucky to have support from so many talented people. Artist, Victoria Fifield, has generously donated art work that will be sold in order to raise funds for the peace centre build. Check out our online exhibition of artwork and feel free to splurge!
May 2022 - Applications are open for the Project on Peacebuilding
We are excited to announce that applications for our Project on Peacebuilding are now open with a deadline of June 15th. Young people aged 18-30 are eligible to participate in this free programme. Read more in the POP Guide where you can also find the application link. Please share with anyone who might be interested.
The Most Mira Peace Centre, will be a cultural arts centre to bring together divided communities in war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina. Yesterday, Most Mira in collaboration with Project V Architecture, won the international LafargeHolcim Award for Sustainable Construction European Silver Award.
The 2020-2021 Award received 4,742 submissions in the main category from 121 countries. The Peace Center Project has raised significant support and funding since its initiation in 2014, and we hope this prestigious award will act as a catalyst to raise the remaining funds required to complete construction. This project will transform a war-ruined house into a vibrant public destination in which Most Mira can expand our already successful programme of arts and reconciliation activities
We are proud to be associated with Project V and its founders Vernes and Lucy, both of whom have been with us on this design journey since 2014. It is largely thanks to Vernes that we were selected as one of 7 regional (Europe) winners in a huge competition..