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WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
Background

"The pain is gone."•• Workshop Participant

The 1995 genocide in Srebrenica left thousands of women alone and grieving for their men and boys. Many were themselves victims of (sexual) violence, displacement and other traumatic experiences. In communities like Potočari (the scene of a mass murder in 1995) and the villages and collective settlements around Tuzla where Bosniak refugees are still living, women still live with unimaginable grief and loss. This affects not only themselves, but also their children and other family members, their neighbors and the surrounding community.

From Woman to Woman will help address the problem of isolation by providing a way for Bosnian women musicians and dancers to offer their professional skills and their compassionate support to their countrywomen.

The project is being built on a solid collaboration between Musicians without Borders and Snaga Žene, an organization that offers psychological, social, medical, pedagogical and legal support to women, children and adolescents (refugees, returnees and displaced persons) who suffered different traumatic experiences during and after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

 

Strategy

From Woman to Woman will produce a pool of trained local workshop leaders to lead music and dance workshops and activities with women who are still haunted by traumatic experiences of violence, dislocation and loss of loved ones during the ethnic ‘cleansing’ especially in the Srebrenica region.  Parallel with the didactic/ artistic/ therapeutic training, the project will focus on creating a local project management team with skills in organization, logistics, public relations, communication and fundraising.

The following activities are planned between May 2013 – May 2014 in order to achieve the objectives of the project:

  • Build upon the pilot projects that MwB has already implemented together with Snaga Žene, the local partner, and further train the women who volunteered for these projects and who wish to be involved as choir singers;
  • Recruit additional local professional musicians and provide training for them;
  • Recruit other women singers for the choir and/or collaborate with other existing choirs;
  • Together with the choir members, establish a repertoire and record performances in order to promote them through different networks and social media outlets;
  • Conduct weekly workshops connected with Snaga Žene’s activities in Srebrenica and Potočari, introducing music and movement therapy.