Who a person is, is often described as what they have experienced, what they may believe in, or where they come from.   However, I believe what makes a person unique is the ability to share life experiences.  It is not the struggles we face, but how we let the struggles shape us into the people we are meant to be.  One week from today, I have the opportunity to listen and observe untold stories that have left a untold mark on the next generation of Bosnia’s young adults.  

Project 1948 will utilize photography as well as other forms of artistic expression to capture the truth of growing up in a war-torn community, and begin the conversation of how these cultures can nurture an atmosphere of trust once more.  Arts-based activities have the potential to foster reconciliation between young adults from different religions, nationalities, and cultures. While living in the aftermath of the war between Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia, next generational trauma is a real concern. The Bosnian War ended nearly 20 years ago, and changed the culture of the Bosnian community forever.  To be a part of this peace building program, means I’ll gain a better understanding of young adults in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and how the experience of growing up in a post-war community has influenced their perspectives.  My hope is to hear their stories, build relationships, and encourage peace that was once established between Balkan communities.

It all starts with an opportunity given to future of Bosnia, and when people are willing to take the time to listen to voices that are desiring to be heard.  This experience has the potential to reunite a lost peace that was once thriving between communities.  Humans were created to live together in interdependent relationships, while thriving together as a community. This is the vision for the Bosnian community and Project 1948 is privileged to have a part in facilitating this peace around the world.

With hopeful expectations, 

Josie Halsmer, Intern for Project 1948