Youth bringing back life to Srebrenica
Turning old Brewery building into center where will be music and laughter.
After numerous titles about young people leaving from Bosnia,the young men from Srebrenica decided to return life to this city and change the future. They gathered in a joint project to open a cultural and fun-educational building of the former brewery building.
The project’s initiators are Miroslav Andrić Mix and Muamer Čivić Čiva who merged the same vision and love for rock music. Both are from Srebrenica. Miroslav was born during war, and Muamer was grown enough to remember those beautiful but also the darkest days.
“In my memory remaind Srebrenica before the war. At that time, I knew only the faces and energy of people, I did not distinguish them by names. Then follows the escape period through the forests, shooting and killing. They told me that they are doing it to us because we are Muslims. I did not know what that was. When asked who does this, they said they were Serbs. I did not understand what that meant at all. Years passed and I returned. God crossed the roads for me and Miroslav. We had the same problems, the same desires and the same visions. In conversation with other ordinary people we realized that everyone is the same and that we need an urgent change.” said by Muamer.
They decided to start recording a rock album. Although many said that it was not time or place for it, they did not give up. A local man supported them financially, although the album was not promoted, nor did the media support it back then, few years ago. Then they began to work on small things with one goal – to return life to Srebrenica.
“We organized gigs, small festivals that had a minimum budget, and we played because we have a band Aragon. We went to Holland to perform and told them our story, the idea of how to start gigs in our city. There we met our new family who supported this idea and the realization begun.” said by Miroslav.
They founded the festival with the financial support of the Dutch municipality of Tilburg, where popular rock bands performed, including Zoster and bands from the Netherlands, Italy, the region and the whole of BiH.
“People talked about the festival days before and after. They were happy because after the “silent period” of the culture, she returned to life and this had a positive effect on everything. We realized that one festival is not enough for us annually and then we started to organize gigs and other cultural events. Two years ago, we wrote a project that passed in the Dutch municipality and they gave us the funds. Our goal is to show that Srebrenica can be a place that is known for something other than a war. We do not deny what happened, but we want to live, keep people and those who went away to return them to our community.” said by Miroslav.
Muamer describing that gigs now were like before the war, and people were happy.
“Everyone was dancing together and smiling. People came from all parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, even from the diaspora. Step by step we are moving towards change, we have young people who support us and everyone in the city is now looking at this project with great expectations. We all have the same problems, regardles of the religion or name. We are creating something from the ashes. We do not have plan B. We do not posses anywhere house or villa. We are here and we believe that we are capable to do this” said by Muamer.
They say there are still people who do not believe in this project and believe that Srebrenica should be a quiet place, but young people think that what they are doing is normal because they want to have the same content as well as all the other local communities in which people live. They emphasized that there are 900 people living in the city, many of them older and wanting to keep them.
After a while, they presented the project to the Municipality of Srebrenica emphasizing that they are not interested in politics and religion, but want a place for socializing, education and entertainment. The municipality bought the building of the former brewery and gave it to use. In a record time young people gathered, cleaned up the space and organized it for gigs. So far there have been 15 gigs held.
“People were thrilled to see happenings in the city. We offered them an insight into what we are planning, and when the building is renovated it will be much nicer. People who live in Srebrenica are visibly tired, regardless of their nation. They are tired of the whole situation and especially from politics.” said by Miroslav.
The renovation of the Pivnica building is in progress, and they hope that everything will be completed by the end of this year. The renovation of the Pivnica building is in progress, and they hope that everything will be completed by the end of this year. There will be a hall for gigs, performances and other cultural events, a craft brewery made by Davorin Sekulić, in which will be offered unique Srebrenica beer which he himself invented, space for tourist promotion of Srebrenica, internet cafe, web design office where young people can be educated and rehersal room. In the former brewery, young people will be able to learn something, have fun and relax.
Five people are now working in the center, goal is to hire more young people. Everyone who has positive ideas is welcome, three offices will be empty and ready for them. It is important to point out that these are people who live in Srebrenica.
“We started from below zero because Srebrenica had an unfavorable image for investors. Now it’s changing. We do not believe that something will change immediately tomorrow, but it’s important to start this process. We do not want to go from BiH. We want to stay and be part of the change. We want Srebrenica to be a regional center of culture” Miroslav emphasized.
The project of renovating and equipping the center costs 145,000 euros, but the story of Muamer and Miroslav, aliens from Srebrenica, as they were called by the Dutch, is much more valuable and can be a message for people from all over the world.