Essays English

Newsletter


Please enter your email

Essays

Lessons in Dissent: The Principles of the "Others"…

Marina Vasilj "Nothing is more unworthy of a civilized people than to allow itself to be "governed" by an irresponsible ruling clique motivated by the darkest instincts" (The White Rose leaflet, summer...

Read more

The Role of Justice in Reconciliation in Bosnia…

Maruša Rosulnik Ljubljana, August 2008 Introduction An end of a conflict is a beginning of a new path leading to peace and reconciliation. One of the means employed on the road...

Read more

 

mim_logo

Essays (English)

ReCom

Course: Memory and its role in conflict and conflict transformation
Lecturer: Orli Friedman

ReCom – Memory on the war in ex-Yugoslavia or Memory of fears

Course participant: Sakibe Jashari, Kosovo

Introduction
Initiative on establishing Regional Commission on Truth telling –RECOM

The armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia started in early 1991 in Slovenia expanding to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and completing with Macedonia. As in every post conflict situation, the number of human losses was huge in all areas of conflict. People talked about the crimes committed on all sides making labels on bases of ethnicity. All of them were inclined to accuse each other or to victimize themselves. In between of all this completion over victimization, the victims were left aside with a total number of some 16,000 missing persons in the whole former Yugoslavia.

The Regional Commission on Truth Telling -ReCom [i]was launched as an initiative in May 2008 in Podgorica with the objective to set up a public platform for victims and civil society in order to deliberate about the crimes committed in former Yugoslavia and how to develop the ReCom initiative as model were people and countries of the region would join the initiative. The core objective of ReCom is to establish the facts about war crimes and serious human rights violations committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, covering the timeline from January 1, 1991 until December 31, 2001.

Read more: ReCom

   

Family memories

Kaja Haelbich
Hamburg, Germany

In our course "Understanding Internal Dynamics of Societies in Conflict" we started to engage in the topic of Israel Palestine conflict by talking about memories.

We discussed different kinds of memory like autobiographical and family memory, historical memory and collective memory. We concentrated on the different narratives about the 48th war ("war of independence" or "Nakba") and we continued by talking about Israel's Occupation, Palestinian Resistance and alternative voices inside Israel and we ended by discussing about the events of the last years.

According to the idea of the course to relate parts of the things we dealt with to the history of our own countries I would like to focus my essay on the subject of memories and dealing with the past, more precisely how the National Socialism is commemorated in Germany. I would like to discuss the difficulties of dealing with family stories and the fact that the grandparents of my generation have been perpetrators.

Read more: Family memories

   

What is the Truth? Thoughts on the differences between Nationalism and Patriotism

[1]

Martina Topic[2]

Introduction

What is the Truth? Normally, people do not ask too many questions about this because there is always something perceived as a generally or personally accepted truth.

For example, the truth is that Croatia is an independent country, that its minister of science is Dragan Primorac, that the ruling party is Croatian Democratic Union, its currency is Kuna, etc. It is also the truth, in personal aspect, that I live in Zagreb, that I am a journalist and assistant lecturer, etc. This is not problematic whatsoever and it is certainly not something one should think about for more then a second, if that much.

But, what happens when there are more versions of the same thing and when all involved sides perceive their version as a general truth? Who is right?

Thus, in this paper, I will firstly discuss the truth in terms of nationalism and patriotism.

Secondly, I will discuss the differences between nationalism and patriotism.

Thirdly, I will discuss the common misperceptions of both.

Read more: What is the Truth? Thoughts on the differences between Nationalism and Patriotism

   

The Role of Justice in Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Maruša Rosulnik

Ljubljana, August 2008

Introduction

An end of a conflict is a beginning of a new path leading to peace and reconciliation. One of the means employed on the road to reconciling a post-conflict society is justice. Can a judicial mechanism indeed bring peace and reconciliation? According to the United Nations Resolution on Impunity[1], a judicial body's goal of ending impunity aspires to bring justice, find truth, promote accountability and deter the commission of crimes, obtain remedy and restore dignity of victims, establish historical record, promote reconciliation and establish peace and stability in a society. Based upon this conceptual link between justice and peace, in 1993 the United Nations Security Council established the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY or Tribunal) aiming to restore and maintain peace by persecuting perpetrators. Even though not explicitly stated in the ICTY Statue, the task of maintaining peace entailed the aim of promoting reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Has the Tribunal succeeded in fostering reconciliation in the post-conflict BiH?

Read more: The Role of Justice in Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

   

Peace Academy Reflection

Tory Tevis

I would like to begin my reflection on the Sarajevo Peace Academy by first stating how difficult it was to settle on a topic to write about.  All the themes, ideas and people we discussed with regard to non-violence and peace activism were inspiring, eye-opening, and exciting.  Our instructor, Dr. Brian Phillips, was a reminder of how powerful the combination of enthusiasm and knowledge can be.  To be working with and listening to the individuals who made up or class was a privilege.  As a foreigner and also one who is young and inexperienced, it was enlightening to be part of such a knowledgeable group of people from this region.  In fact, I was a little intimidated by my lack of experience when it came to contributing to discussions; I felt I could generally benefit more from listening than talking.  Some of the topics covered were new to me, and those which were familiar were given new depth and meaning.  It is actually on two subjects which are an integral part of my own country's (the United States) history that I would now like to reflect upon:  Martin Luther King, Jr. and American World War II Conscientious Objectors.  Comparing and contrasting the presentation of these two subjects in the mainstream narrative of American history to the lessons of the Peace Academy is a revealing exercise.  It highlights key ideas which are useful for those who already consider themselves activists, but might also inspire others to become activists.

Read more: Peace Academy Reflection