Event 3: Subotica, Serbia
After a full day of discussion, sharing and creative activity, we make a final cup of coffee and gather to address the key questions . . .
Why is it important to remember?
So that the same mistakes are not made again
It’s not just about remembering, it’s about acknowledging current prejudices and stereotyping now to prevent violence in the present and the future
While we are remembering past genocides, a lot of people are dying right NOW! Why? Haven’t we learned anything? Remember on a personal level, you survived these tragic events and you have a lot to teach the rest of us.
To value all human life.
To remember that Hitler was working within the law and people signed up to the Holocaust. It was the responsibility of thousands of people, not just one.
To remember that true freedom is not about having material goods. To be, not to have, is important.
What responsibility do we carry to guard against genocide?
We, who are survivors, should be working towards a peaceful world.
We can work at an international level too, influencing decision makers.
We have to keep working with all the services in our city to integrate and contribute to positive action.
What can we do to affect change; locally, nationally and internationally, particularly in relation to refugees being welcome in our cities?
We need to work together to build bridges, work towards inter-culturalism, use the arts to communicate this and raise awareness.
Highlight the achievements of individual refugees in paintings and exhibitions.
Minority groups should stand together to challenge the elite groups. Then change might happen.
Young people from Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia and Montenegro are already running activities together every few weeks, in person and using skype. Themes are reconciliation, bridge building, facing prejudices, effecting change and influencing other young people.
What is the power of expressing remembrance and communicating messages through the creative arts?
It reaches people on an emotional level.
I feel closer to something I have seen and experienced.
The arts are a universal language.
We can be inspired.
Being involved in creative expression is not passive, but active.
Some people think visually and respond to what they see.
Our national and cultural identity can be explored in a way that it is not done at present.
Culture is the code for communication amongst young people.
Most good art is produced as a result of difficulty, challenges, conflict or tragedy. They are often connected.
Faced with negativity, creative activity can make something positive.