Bosnia and Herzegovina presents itself as a country that emerged out of war and widespread suffering in 1992, as a complex construct composed of three nations in which discontent now prevails, especially among young people. A poll of passers-by in the street asks whether the concept of freedom plays a part in the everyday problems of the people in Sarajevo. What is freedom? Who is free? How can we be free? How important is it to be free? A set of fundamental questions that yield a wide range of different and very revealing responses.
The Sarajevo-Crakow tandem’s partners have also opted for the use of film. Sarajevo’s Academy of Dramatic Arts has come up with a very concrete answer to Crakow's question: "Where are the girls?” In their 20-minute documentary Lejla: A Look at the Role of Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the filmmakers accompany a girl during her everyday school life, leisure-time activities and at home. It becomes clear that Lejla, who is soon to come of age, is trapped in normative images of the dual role to which she’ll be assigned in her career and family. The film was premiered at a feminist convention in Cracow in late September.
A team of students from the Jagiellonian University in Crakow, led by sociologist Beata Kowalska, have taken up Sarajevo’s question – "Can a compromise be reached between opposing conceptions of freedom?” – in a half-hour film entitled There Is No Freedom Without Solidarity. Looking back on Poland’s past, the sociology students interviewed former workers from the steel mills in Nowa Huta who went on strike in 1988 to fight for political change. Their remarks on the meaning of freedom to them then and now, 30 years later, vary widely – and are quite moving. The interviewees will be attending the screening in late November in Nowa Huta.
Founded in 1981, the Academy of Performing Arts Sarajevo (ASU)
was the first drama school in Bosnia Herzegovina. Today it offers courses in acting, directing, cinematography, editing, sound design and film production. All teaching staff have industry experience and foreign students now make up 40% of the student body. Sarajevo:Krakow How can we drive home to people the importance of freedom nowadays?
Athen:Bratislava What are the limits and semblances of the so-called freedom of speech, are there visible and implicit constraints?
Tallinn:Dresden May Estonians be content?
Budapest:Tirana What responsibility does civil society bear for the defence of our shared European values?
Thessaloniki:Carlisle Can a new media exhibition on the subject of European identity become an area of freedom?
Warsaw: BrusselsIf we had the choice between access to all available information and life in a filter bubble, which would we pick?
Prague:Marseille Is one vote enough?
Dresden:Tallinn What can art do as a language of freedom in an age of rampant resentment?
Ljubljana:Paris How can Slovenians find their way to a balanced dialogue between equal partners in which each side’s human rights are safeguarded and no one is rendered “disposable”, as Hannah Arendt put it?