OPEN CALL: Invitation to participate in the “Truths that are denied” conference

If you want to learn more about challenges that post-conflict societies face, peacebuilding, and reconciliation processes in post-Yugoslav region, then the “Truths that are denied” conference is for you!

Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) invites students and young professionals from Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania, who are active in the civil society sector or who want to learn more about dealing with the past in the post-Yugoslav region, to apply for a two-day conference “Truths that are denied”. The conference will be held in Belgrade on the 8th and 9th of November 2022.

Post-conflict societies face various challenges on their way to stable peacebuilding and establishing a democracy based on democratic values ​​and principles. Values ​​such as truth, peace, anti-fascism, and solidarity, as well as democracy must be implemented into the steps and actions aimed at building a future in which conflicts and wars are not a threat to our daily lives. The process of peacebuilding is never a straight line and is often slowed down by chauvinistic and nationalist narratives and actions coming from key politicians, state-controlled media, and extremist groups.

Serbia is one of the countries that is a key figure in solving and addressing problems that are directly related to war and the past. Problems such as war crimes denial, shrinking civic and public space, media freedoms, misuse of democratic procedures, lack of transparency, and corruption have all become a part of our everyday life and will surely be reflected in the future.

The idea of the two-day conference “Truths that are denied” is to talk about shrinking space for civic actions, especially when those actions include transitional justice work. Furthermore, the conference will tackle the current challenge of often institutionalized nationalistic narratives and celebration of war criminals, with a focus on murals of Ratko Mladic, as a symbol of war. The “Truths that are denied” conference will also include a discussion on Srebrenica genocide denial. Together with artists, CSO representatives, academics, activists, journalists, and individuals from the region, we will talk about memorialization, peace activism, dealing with the past, local initiatives, and art as a tool for connecting people, as well as the regional cooperation of activists, and the role of the CSO.

The application deadline is the 24th of October at 5pm, and the application is made by filling out an online form in English. All registered participants will be notified of the results of the selection no later than October 25th.

This activity has been supported by BCSDN and financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida. Responsibility for the content rests entirely with the creator. Sida does not necessarily share the expressed views and interpretations.


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Ivana Jovanović