The Bosnia-Herzegovina Protest Files is an initiative by an open network of activists and academics collecting and translating texts being produced by BiH citizens during the ‘Bosnian Spring.’ We are motivated and inspired by the initiative and creativity of those protesting on the streets in BiH and their nascent attempts at practicing in a direct democracy. We believe that the words of ordinary people at moments of revolutionary change and upheaval are important and should be part of the conversation. They are also a refreshing antidote the nationalist fear-mongering, political spin and ‘expert opinion’ about current events in the region.
During the winter of 2011/2 several of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s most renowned cultural institutions closed their doors to the public or are expected to soon follow suit. The cause: the failure of the country’s complex administrative apparatus to ensure operations through the design of adequate funding mechanisms. The painful result is that now the most important collections of cultural artifacts from Bosnia-Herzegovina’s past and present, prominently including those of the Regional Museum (Zemaljski Muzej BH) and the Art Gallery (Umjetnička Galerija BH), are finally invisible to locals and visitors alike, and that the National and University Library (Nacionalna i Univerzitetska Biblioteka BH) will serve neither the University community nor the public.
CULTURESHUTDOWN.NET is an initiative undertaken in response to this intolerable impasse. It intends to contribute to resolve [this crisis] through the cultivation of a debate on the place and mission of cultural institutions in the life of the country on the theoretical as well as practical levels. Unconnected to a government or political party, this initiative intends to raise worldwide awareness about the problem though a variety of instruments and media, ranging from the provision of real-time information, and historical and theoretical contextualization, to art projects and the drafting of cultural policy recommendations. It seeks not to monopolize or dominate this debate but to provide an international platform for addressing this crisis in Bosnia’s cultural heritage, and by displaying a variety of projects that represent a wide spectrum of ideas and opinions.
Dialogue - BiH2.0 - Dijalog is an independent platform where the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina, decision makers, NGOs, the media, businesses, and the international community can go to learn, to think about, and to find solutions to the challenges facing the country. Dialogue BiH2.0 is committed to Open Information, Open Policy and Open Government across Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The Emerging Democracies Institute (EDI) is a 501 (c) 3 which supports the emergence of liberal democracies, just and accountable governments, and sustainable development worldwide by helping pro-democratic leaders and civic activists from post-conflict and post-authoritarian countries to have their voice heard in Washington, and by connecting policy-makers, media representatives and civil society organizations in emerging democracies in Southeast Europe and the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to exchange best practices and create lasting partnerships.
Corporate-concentrated media is bad for democracy and good for keeping people afraid, disempowered, immobilized, isolated and consumers rather than citizens. So it is important to de-spin the political and re-spin it for social, economic and political justice.