Community Theatre as Creative Source in Processing Violent Past: Post-war Youth from Bosnia-Herzegovina Creating Spaces for Reconciliation Through Performative Arts
The following research explores potentials of community performative arts in contributing to successful reconciliation practices among young, post-war generations in Bosnia-Herzegovina. New generations in ethnically divided areas have limited access to meet and experience the life in neighboring communities, while the state supports this division by institutionalized segregation of the schooling system. With the principles of engaged research, this research project follows, analyzes, reports and critically observe the experience of ethnically mixed group of teens coming together and using tools of community drama and aesthetics aiming for creative conflict resolution and facing the violent past and frozen conflict today. The main research question of this project tackles with the topics of traumatic legacy of war and how the descendants of trauma survivors may use arts to approach difficult past with the dialogue. Also included in this inquiry is a question of how aesthetics might be appropriately and ethically employed in reconciliation efforts.
Nena Mocnik is a researcher at Center for Cultural and Religious Studies at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. She holds a PhD in Balkans Studies with a focus on sexuality and political violence. As an engaged researcher, activist and performance artist, she is interested in critical theory, human rights, cultures of conflict, social oppression and sexualities. Her written academic works have been published in national and international scientific monographs and journals and presented on conferences worldwide. In 2014, she was Fulbright visiting researcher and applied drama practitioner at University of Southern California, School for Dramatic Arts, Applied Drama Program and in 2015 a Brown University Fellow (Brown International Advanced Research Institute). In the fall 2015 she resides and works as visiting researcher at University of Copenhagen at the study of collective memory, sexuality and trauma.