BiH: New grant from EU to ’Make it yours’ – awareness raising

Project “MAKE IT YOURS!” that is funded by the European Union in the amount of 238.736 EUR, started on 1 June 2014. The project is inspired by the awareness raising campaigns already implemented by CHwB Albania and CHwB Kosovo, and is developed around CHwB’s values of peace building and reconciliation.

The project is entirely aimed at citizens of BiH, who would be encouraged to increase their sense of ownership, but as well would be confronted with standard prejudices and misunderstandings of concepts of heritage. The project would also deal with a particular aspect of education about the historical environment, linking the memory of WWI and the route of the Crown Prince before he was attacked.

Cultural heritage refers to the cultural legacy inherited from previous generations, a legacy which we often want to identify and preserve, because it reinforces our cultural identity or sense of who we are as a people. Due to its social nature, cultural heritage is influenced by politics and guided by prevailing social forces. Through this project “Make it Yours!” we would like to encourage the viewing of the monument from a different angle.

The project would aim to use the on-going process of restoration of Isa-bey hammam and engage a large array of stakeholders so as to challenge their views on recognition (or non-recognition) of cultural heritage as our common resource. Further to this, while engaging citizens of different professions, in actions such as plastering, hewing timber, masonry, we shall provide a different insight into what is a monument, contributing to education and a different interpretation, hence different personal relations to a monument.

Looking into the memories of the recent destructions (starting from Vijecnica Library Building), as well as historical development, a particular narrative would be developed with secondary school pupils so as to develop their sense of a common ownership and respect.

An important segment of reinforcing the active engagement and a dialogue on the sites is the inclusion of volunteers from a US Alumni organization, who would be actively engaged in extended work with students from high schools in Sarajevo and East Sarajevo.
Students would work on interpreting a part of the Miljacka river facade, starting from Vijecnica (City Hall) Library, and ending with the Museum of Sarajevo.
The project objectives:
•    To challenge the prevailing notion of cultural heritage as belonging to a particular ethnic group.
•    To create a common, safe ground and facilitate open dialogue and education regarding cultural heritage.
•    To engage a large array of social groups actively in the process of heritage protection and to explore prevalent attitudes about a common but still recognisably diverse historic environment.

Through this project, CHwB intends to increase ownership (people’s connection) of cultural heritage and provide a framework for dialogue on heritage, culture and identity.
Implementation partners in the project are: The Bosniac Institute – Adil Zulfikarpasic Foundation and US Alumni Association in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Kick-Off meeting of the project partners was held on June 10th, 2014 CHwB BiH office in Sarajevo. During the Kick Off meeting, the Project Partners, CHwB , The Bosniac Institute – Adil Zulfikarpasic and Foundation US Alumni Association in Bosnia and Herzegovina discussed the main objectives and activities of the project; analyzing their activities and outputs; the work plan; upcoming challenges; project management, reporting and public procurement procedures.