Humanity in Action Fellowship in Sarajevo

Program Description

The Humanity in Action Fellowship in Sarajevo will delve deep into the topics of transitional justice, post-conflict identity politics, peacebuilding and socioeconomic transformation in marginalized local communities. The City of Sarajevo, and other important historical sites in its surrounding, will serve as a unique case study of the rich history of multi-confessional urban living in Europe.

Academically well-rounded, the program will add diversity to the educational experiences and broaden the Humanity in Action program scope beyond Western Europe and the United States. It will provide Fellows with an intellectual framework that connects issues in Bosniaand Herzegovina to both past and current global issues. It will combine intense site visits, insightful lecture-style sessions with high level speakers and workshop-based learning units, which focus more on discussions and Fellow interactions. This combination of learning methods will allow Fellows to develop interpersonal relationships that solidify and strengthen the program itself.

By challenging Fellows’ perspectives on human rights issues, the program will aim to interrogate their own assumptions and encourage them to question their scope and depth of knowledge of multiculturalism; economic inequality; interfaith dialogue; post-conflict social apathy, social unrests, divided communities and social exclusions; growing trends of Islamophobia, Antisemitism and anti-outsider sentiments in the Balkans; resistance movements before, during and after the Second World War in Bosnia and in Yugoslavia; minority experiences and representations; progressive grassroots movements; the role of media and culture in a post-conflict setting; and civic resistance to various forms of institutionalized human rights violations. 

To learn more about the 2017 Sarajevo Fellowship, please click here.

Please note that this is the 2017 agenda.

2017 Agenda

May 26

Arrival Day

Arrival of Fellows from the United States, The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Poland and Bosnia and Herzegovina


  • Welcome dinner and drinks at the residence of Sarah Freeman Woolpert 

May 27

Team Building Day

Hike to Skakavac waterfall, lunch and drinks. 

May 28

Introduction to the Program

The Fellows will get to know the city by engaging in a game of following clues hidden around Sarajevo's landmarks in groups of five. After lunch, they will meet at the University of Sarajevo School of Economics and Business to familarize themselves with the agenda and the structure of the program. 

  • Sarajevo "Crawl"
  • Introduction to the Program by Dr. Jasmin Hasić (National Director, Humanity in Action BiH)
  • Legacies of the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Dr. Nicolas Moll
  • Fellow's Talk: Rachel Salcedo (USA)

May 29

Contextualizing Historical Narratives

The day is dedicated to exploring different historical narratives present in B&H society. The speakers will address the issues of dealing with the past and culture and politics of memory, as well as discuss the consequences and influence of the Dayton Peace Accords on the society.

  • Collective Memory of Mass Atrocities in BiH by Hikmet Karčić (Senior Associate, Institute for Islamic Tradition of Bosniaks)
  • Navigating the Post-Dayton Conundrums by Dr. Valery Perry (Democratization Policy Council)
  • Movie Screening ("Missing You...") and Discussion with Mirna Buljugić (Executive Director, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network - BIRN BiH)
  • Fellow's Talk: Nikola Lero (Bosnia and Herzegovina) 

May 30 

New Perspectives - Study Trip to Banja Luka

  • Departure from Zemaljski muzej - National Museum of BH
  • From Dayton to Brussels, via Tuzla – Post-2014 Political and Economic
  • Restructuring in BiH by Dr. Danijela Majstorović (Associate Professor, Faculty of Philology, University of Banja Luka)
  • Talk with Gordana Katana (Journalist, Oslobođenje)
  • Dinner with local HIA Senior Fellows

May 31

White Armband Day - Study Trip to Prijedor

On the last day of May 1992, after a forceful takeover of the municipal government, Bosnian Serb authorities issued a decree on local radio in Prijedor ordering all non-Serbian citizens to mark their houses with white flags or bedsheets and to wear white armbands when leaving the house. Tens of thousands of family members of those forced to wear white armbands had been detained in some of the most notorious camps established during the war in Bosnia — Omarska, Keraterm, Manjaca and Trnopolje.” – Al Jazeera America

  • Departure from Hotel Tesla (Banja Luka)
  • Talk with Kemal Pervanić (Founder of Most Mira) on Armband Day in Prijedor
  • White Armband Day - Commemoration Walk through Prijedor City Center
  • Talk with Goran Zorić and Branko Ćulibrk (Youth Center “Kvart”) on Human Rights in Post-conflict Prijedor


June 1

Consequences of Mass Violence on Marginalized Groups

The day starts with an overview of court proceedings before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague in cases related to the ’92-’95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, followed by a lecture on internally displaced persons and their current status.

  • Local Perceptions of the Role of the ICTY by Almir Alić (ICTY Registry Liaison)
  • IDPs and Returnees in BiH: Unresolved Questions and Socio-political Dilemmas by Dr. Selma Porobić (Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Sarajevo)
  • Fellow's Talk: Jorinde van der Meijden (The Netherlands) 
  • Fellow's Talk: Daria Vilušić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) 

June 2

Seeking and Rendering Justice

The focus of the day is set on learning about various crimes committed during the war. The first lecture will revolve around the issue of the fight for justice and compensation for women victims of sexual violence used as a tool of war, followed by a presentation on the current developments in finding and identifying missing persons. The day concludes with a study visit to the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a talk with prosecutors working on war crime cases in local jurisdiction.

  • Seeking Justice for Women War Victims by Armela Ramić (Attorney at Law, Ademović, Nožica & Partners Law Office)
  • Learning from the Recovery and Identification of the Missing in B&H by Admir Jugo (Ph.D. Candidate, Durham University)
  • Visit to the BH Prosecutor's office: Special Department on War Crimes, Talk with Boris Grubešić (Spokesperson of the BH Prosecutor’s Office)


June 3 

Day off

June 4

Never Again: Remembering Srebenica

By the summer of 1995, three towns in eastern Bosnia– Srebrenica, Zepa and Gorazde–remained under control of the Bosnian government. The U.N. had declared these enclaves “safe havens” in 1993, to be disarmed and protected by international peacekeeping forces. On July 11, however, Bosnian Serb forces advanced on Srebrenica, overwhelming a battalion of Dutch peacekeeping forces stationed there. Serbian forces subsequently separated the Bosniak civilians at Srebrenica, putting the women and girls on buses and sending them to Bosnian-held territory. Some of the women were raped or sexually assaulted, while the men and boys who remained behind were killed immediately or bussed to mass killing sites. Estimates of Bosniaks killed by Serb forces at Srebrenica range from around 7,000 to more than 8,000.”–

  • Departure (Zemaljski muzej BiH - National Museum of BH)
  • Visit to Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial Center, Multimedia Center and Museum
  • Lecture by Hasan Hasanović (Genocide Survivor and Memorial Center Guide)


June 5 

Multi-Ethnic and Ethno-Political?

The first day of the week dedicated to social, legal and economic transformation in the country focuses on an in-depth examination of key components related to post-conflict transformation of the B&H society.

  • The Yugoslav Powder Keg: Ethno-politics Dominating Rational Minds by Dr. Asim Mujkić (Professor, Faculty of Political Science, University of Sarajevo)
  • Democratic Representation in Multi-Ethnic States by Dr. Damir Kapidžić (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Political Science, University of Sarajevo)
  • Fellow's Talk: Sylwia Dimtchev (Poland)

June 6 

Human Rights in a Consociational Democracy

The morning sessions will be related to learning about the intricacies of the current political system, and available mechanisms of protecting human rights. The afternoon workshop is reserved for a facilitated interactive psychodrama workshop dealing with breaking stereotypes and overcoming discrimination.

  • Establishing Consociation in a Post-Conflict Society: A Recipe for Success? by Dr. Midhat Izmirlija (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Sarajevo)
  • Mosaic of Human Rights in BiH: Attainable, Segregated, or Denied? by Dr. Jasminka Džumhur (Ombudsperson for Human Rights of BiH)
  • Psychodrama Workshop: Discrimination and Stereotypes by Zvjezdana Jakić and Vedrana Rebić (Association Psihodrama)
  • Fellow's Talk: Virginia Spinks (USA)

June 7 

Human Rights in a Multiconfessional Society

The speakers will touch upon various issues related to interplays of religion and the state, as well as their connection with human rights issues in B&H.

  • Establishing a Secular State in a Multiconfessional Society by Dr. Dino Abazović (Professor, Faculty of Political Science, University of Sarajevo)
  • Human Rights Protection at the State Level in BiH by Aiša Telalović (Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of BiH)
  • Media Workshop with Maida Bahto Kestendžić and Đenan Ćosović (Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Fellow's Talk: Alia Schwelling (Germany) 

June 8

The Interplay of Civil Society and Policymaking

The day will begin with visit the studio of Al Jazeera Balkans, a leading regional TV station, to discuss objective reporting and the role of an international media house in a post-conflict region. The two lectures of the day are reserved for discussing the potential of the civil society to shape the political system, as well as the capacity of the current political system to absorb the necessary changes.

  • Visit to Al Jazeera Balkans Studio with Melina Kamerić (Head of PR & Communications, Al Jazeera Balkans)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina 22 Years after Dayton - An (Un)Pacified Country at the Crossroads by Dr. Dennis Gratz (Assistant Professor, Sarajevo School of Science and Technology)
  • Civil Society Initiatives in BiH by Darko Brkan (Association Why Not?)
  • Fellow's Talk: Ana Caldeira Beels (Portugal/Belgium)

June 9

Economics and Development

The discussion will be devoted to the current economic challenges present in the country, as well as the role of international organizations in providing remedy to the unresolved political relations that constrain economic development.

  • Action Project Development Workshop with Marina Riđić (Journalist and Reporter, Al Jazeera Balkans) and Nejra Kozarić (Interview Producer, Al Jazeera Balkans)
  • Lecture on International Community's Involvement in Post-Conflict Reconstruction by Adela Pozder-Čengić (Program Manager, Head of Sector at UNDP Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Presentation on International Trade Investment Partnership by Nina Łazarczyk (Humanity in Action BiH Program Assistant)
  • Gathering with local youth and a barbecue at the Youth House in Sarajevo

June 10 

Social Dialogue - Study Trip to Zenica

The study trip to Zenica, a predominantly industrial city, will revolve around social justice and economic development. Fellows will get the chance to talk to Bajro Melez, President of the Union of Workers in the Metal Industry and Kenan Mujkanović, President of the Cantonal Committee of the Union of Workers in the Metal Industry.

  • Departure (Zemaljski muzej BiH - National Museum of BH)
  • Visit to ArcelorMittal Factory and discussion with representatives of the Union of Workers in the Metal Industry
  • Visit to Naša Djeca NGO and Radio Active Zenica
  • Fellow's Talk: Aldin Vrškić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) 

June 11

Day off

June 12 

Positioning and Agency 

The only panel of the Fellowship will be devoted to the role of women in transforming the identity of post-conflict politics and shaping the current narratives in the public sphere. The panel will be followed by a lecture on highlighting the positive examples of civil courage and people who spoke out in difficult times. After a break, HIA Fellows will participate in an interactive workshop on media activism and using social networks as activism tools.

  • Panel: Women in Politics with Lamija Tiro (Naša Stranka) and Jelena Kunić (SNSD)
  • Civil Courage in Times of War and Peace by Dr. Svetlana Broz (GARIWO)
  • Workshop on Media Activism with Boris Čović (Center for Cultural and Media Decontamination)
  • Fellow's Talk: Lydia Ghuman (USA)

June 13 

In, Out and Around the System: Mobilizing Change

Our first guest will speak about the role of Bosnian diaspora in redefining the societal issues and opening up new venues and opportunities for development, followed by a lecture on the role and impact of the European Union in shaping the path of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the integration process.

  • Bosnian Diaspora: Mobilization Abroad by Dr. Dženeta Karabegović (University of Warwick)
  • Lecture on Integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the EU by HE Khaldoun Sinno, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Presentation on Stefania Wilczyńska and Janusz Korczak, creators of the prototype of democratic school by Sylwia Dimtchev (Poland)
  • Fellow's Talk: Bono Siebelink (The Netherlands)
  • Fellow's Talk: Katrina Martell (USA) 

June 14 

The Identity Gridlocks

The speakers of the day will address different aspects and perspectives of identity struggles in the country, starting with a talk on youth reconciliation processes, followed by an overview of the challenges faced by LGBTQI community.

  • Social Identities in (Post-) Conflict Societies by Dr. Sabina Čehajić-Clancy (Professor, Sarajevo School of Science and Technology)
  • Rights and Freedoms of the LGBTQI Community by Slobodanka Dekić (Media Center Sarajevo)
  • Interactive Workshop with Ivana Kešić (Program Manager, CIVITAS BiH)
  • Fellow's Talk: Malte Breiding Hansen (Denmark)

June 15

A New Generation, A New Dialogue

Before leaving for Mostar and visiting the United World College located in the city, the Fellows will learn about the structure of the complex B&H education system, and the way it has been used as a tool of division among youth. The following talk will focus on the ways arts and education can shape the view on human rights.

  • Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina: a Retrospective by Dr. Lamija Tanović (Professor, Sarajevo School of Science and Technology)
  • Structural Economic Issues in Post-conflict BiH by Damir Šaljić (Advisor, British Embassy in Sarajevo)
  • Communication Skills Workshop with Dijana Duvnjak (Foundation for Socio-Economic Development 787)
  • Fellow's Talk: Ella Tazuana Johnson (USA)

June 16

A House Divided - Study Trip to Stolac and Mostar

The group will travel to the Radimlja Medieval Necropolis, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city of Stolac. There will be a visit to Mak Dizdar’s Art House and a tour ofthe city. After lunch, the departure for Mostar is at 13:30, where the Fellows will discuss education as tools for sustainable future of youth in B&H through a visit to United World College.

  • Visit to Radmlja Medieval Necropolis and Mak’s Art House in Stolac with Dr. Gorčin Dizdar (Mak Dizdar Foundation)
  • Visit to United World College and Presentation by Adla Velagić-Ćurić (PR, United World College UWC)
  • Fellow's Talk: Vlatka Lučić (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Tour of the Old Town in Mostar

June 17-19

Action Project Development

Fellows are expected to produce three major outputs to be displayed at the closing ceremony for the Fellowship on June 19:

Output 1: Reflective Essay

  • During their four weeks in Sarajevo, Fellows will write short (500-1000 words) essays on an issue they've observed during the fellowship. Those from outside of Sarajevo will be encouraged to write comparatively about how challenges in their home communities relate to the challenges they decided to address.

Output 2: Short Video

  • Fellows will make a short video (3-5 min) reflecting their personal impressions of the things they experienced or issues they've observed during the fellowship. It can be either a collection of testimonials of their friends from the program, lecturers, host-family members, people they meet on the streets of Sarajevo or during the educational site-visits etc. 

Output 3: Social Media Initiative or Campaign

  • Fellows will be encouraged to set up a social media group or a blog, or to create a hashtag (#) to raise awareness about a certain issue they've come across during the Fellowship. This will stimulate their mutual cooperation and boost their willingness to work together on joint Action Projects following the conclusion of the fellowship. Like in all other fellowship programs, the Fellows will also create project plans for Action Projects during the four weeks in Sarajevo and will execute the projects in their home communities upon return. 

June 19

Fellowship Closing Ceremony at 19:00

June 20

Day off

June 21

Travel to Berlin

June 22-25

Eighth Annual Humanity in Action International Conference in Berlin

Humanity in Action Bosnia and Herzegovina also wishes to thank our partners, host families, Senior Fellows and friends of Humanity in Action. These contributions help to prepare outstanding students for a lifelong commitment to civic responsibility and the promotion of human rights.

The Humanity in Action in Sarajevo Fellowship is generously supported by:

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