The idea about Four Towns youth network was born in August 2015 in Srebrenica where we were participants of the project The Complete Freedom of Truth. We, young people, were all amazed by the things that happened there. So we decided that we want to continue doing it and spread this idea all over our country, we just needed to make it possible and make it real.
At the beginning of November we had a meeting in Višegrad, the town that has great young people who want to make something out of their town, who want to register their youth organization and who want to create art and be productive and active. They needed our help with all of these things. I hope that we helped a little.
We weren't there just because of that, we were there to empower our group of young leaders, activists and artists not only from Višegrad but from other three towns – Jelah, Srebrenica and Tuzla. Also, we had help from Tina, Alex and Bruno that were there and were very open and supportive to our ideas, suggestions and our mistakes.
To be honest, I didn't have great expectations about this project in Višegrad, because it wasn't even a „real“ project. We just had the idea and we felt that we need to meet again and let this group of young people work together. We just had the idea, not the money. And it seems like the idea was enough, because we were fighting for that idea and we got fundings in the last moment, thanks to Ljubiša and others.
So, as I said I didn't have great expectations because I knew that we didn't really have fixed shedule that we need to work with and also it was in really small period of time. We said goodbye in the end of August and said hello at the beginning of November.
We had few days to make our visit there worth it. So we decided to do the work in two ways, which was at the beginning a bit confusing, at least for me. Some of us who were representing these four towns, young leaders including Sandra (Višegrad), Mixs (Srebrenica), Mirza (Tuzla) and me (Jelah), were having meetings about establishing our youth network that's going to include these four towns and make our work and activism in our local communities easier. On those type of meetings we had great support from Tina, Almir and Mikica who have really great experience and are more realistic about everything, but they left us to decide and they let us to have the leadership role. The rest of the young people were leading and participating in workshops (theathre, puppetry, poetry and music) supported by Alex and Bruno. At the end of the meeting in Višegrad all people together, devided in groups, were talking about their expectations, aims and next steps that we want to make.
We named our nonformal youth network „Domino“, because we wanted to make changes in our four towns and act like a domino effect, like a great chain of similar, creative and positive events. Also, we did a SWOT analysis for our network and we decided what changes we want to make and what activites we want to work on. We made a facebook group that is working really good and where we communicate very easy.
In a few days in Višegrad we had two performances. The first one was in the local caffee bar „Retro“ where we had a music and poetry evening and I think it was really great. The good thing is that we had there young girls from highschool who took part in music and poetry workshops and also were reading on the performance night. So, the young people from Višegrad were interested in what's happening in their town.
The other performance that included theathre, puppetry, poetry, music and movie was in Cultural centre which was freezing cold, so the audience left us till the end of the show but we did it and finished it together with Višegrad song.
We also had a workshop with a large group of young children in middle school „Vuk Karadžić“ and it was really special. I felt a strong will of young kids that wanted to do something, that wanted to dance and sing and watch, that wanted to hold your hand... And I really felt that they enjoy it and that they were very happy just by our visit to their school.
I think that all young people left Višegrad very motivated and happy by accomplishing something. I know that I did.
I'm very glad to say that after that meeting we, as a Domino Youth Network, applied for two projects about art activism and fighting against hate speech, discrimination and violence through many types of art, that are going to include young people from these four towns. At the moment, we're writing our third project proposal and we hope for the best.
We want to continue working together, we want to make change by using art as our tool and we want to make something big out of it. I believe that we can do it. Thanks to all of you who inspired us.