To all our fantastic donors,
One major obstacle to building peace in Bosnia is directly linked to how we interpret history. Just before the conflict started, history was manipulated and used as propaganda to justify a violent war. Nowadays, history is what keeps the conflict alive, and divides us along ethnic and religious lines. The more the time passes and stereotypes and myths are embedded in the communities, the harder will be to break them down.
Joseph Liechty and Cecelia Clegg, two important scholars in the field have, for example, found that there is a very close relationship between history as it is understood by historians, or outsiders and by the communities. "Communal memory corresponds with myth". These myths create a very strong foundation for Bosnian sectarianism. Liechty and Clegg argue that "The past must not dictate the future as sectarianism wants us to believe". However, there is a long way until Bosnia will get to experience a common, shared, objective history.
The Oral History project would be a strong asset for school teachers, as students will have the chance to learn about the conflict from all perspectives, and from the people who survived it. The project has been on CIM's to-do list for a long time, and although we never managed to get the funding needed to implement it, we will never discard it. To the people out there who have supported our project, we thank you for believing in us, we have the hope and motivation to wait and keep on trying until we see this project done.
As Always, In Peace