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Exhibition HERO ;

International Day of Peace Exhibition: What does peace look like?

On International Day of Peace, the global community commits to peace above all differences but what does peace actually look like to people in countries that are re-building after recent histories of conflict and violence?

Researchers in the Department of War Studies, through research projects, Art & Reconciliation and Imaging Peace, have been exploring the role and potential of the visual in peacebuilding, reconciliation and transitional justice processes. Building case-studies of visual peacebuilding and peace photography initiatives, our research asks how can images contribute to cultures of peace?

This online exhibition features 3 different projects by young Bosnian correspondents trained and supported by one of our research partners, the Post Conflict Research Centre (PCRC). Over 10 years, PCRC have used visual media as a peacebuilding tool within BiH. They have produced documentary films, public photography exhibitions and mentored young journalists creating visual projects that work to foster a culture of peace and counter dominant divisive public narratives. Strategically harnessing the visual to demonstrate that peace is possible, PCRC’s work demonstrates how images can be used to not depict peace but to actively shape it.


Love Tales tells the stories of couples from across Bosnia and Herzegovina who are in successful interethnic relationships. Since the end of the war, ethnic divisions in Bosnia have become entrenched and continually stoked in politics and mass media. Love Tales seeks to challenge the persistent and ingrained narrative that real connections between Bosnia’s ethnic groups are unattainable.

Photography: Mitar Simikić | Interview: Anja Zulić

Adisa and Vehid “Crni” Ahmedović have been married for 27 years. “Crni” means “dark” and is a nickname he picked up because of his Roma ethnicity, but he is very happy with it and has always called himself that. Adisa and Crni met and fell in love doing the job they both love. They run their salon together and would not give it up for anything. “The meaning of love is when you can’t wait to get up in the morning and go to work. Our job is God-given. We make a living thanks to it,” says Adisa.

Photography: Mitar Simikić | Interview: Anja Zulić

Ajla Lović and Darko Karać from Banja Luka are saving up to be able to live together and continue building their life together. Ajla is Muslim and Darko Serbian Orthodox, but, ever since Darko nervously approached Ajla in a club 5 years ago, it has never been an obstacle for them, nor for their friends and family. On the topic of what to do about religious holidays, Darko recalls how Ajla once asked him, ‘Well, Darko, for God’s sake, when we start our life together, how will we manage all of that?’ He simply responded that, well, they will celebrate everything!

003 BANJA LUKA_Zijad Isović i Olga Isović_08
Photography: Mitar Simikić | Interview: Armin Halilović

Olga and Zijad Isović met in the 1970s at a college disco: “He asked me to dance and that’s how it started." Not only is their own marriage a “mixed” one – Zijad is from a Muslim background and Olga Serbian Orthodox – but those of all of their siblings are too. Zijad emphasises just how normal it was before the war: “Nobody cared about those things. Believe me, it was nothing.” They both lament how local leaders and politicians have instrumentalised ethno-national identity and religion ever since the war, and they are proud to have brought up their daughters with civic values instead, which, they say, are what civilised societies are founded on.

004 ZlaticaMuhamed19_ARD_161220
Photography: Armin Durgut | Interview: Azra Berbić

Zlatica and Muhamed Kljuno, who are from Sarajevo first met in a skate rink when they were still at school. They are celebrating 28 years of happy marriage this year. Their life has been filled with love for each other and their two children. They believe that their different religions have brought a lot of prosperity and happiness into their life. They believe that the key to their successful marriage is that their differences complement each other perfectly – what one of them lacks the other one has. Zlatica recalls that when they first met, “These differences were not thought of at all, nor should they have been thought of. We were not brought up that way, and nobody knew what your religion was, nor did anyone ask.”


Memento tells the stories of Srebrenica genocide survivors and victims’ families through objects that they have donated to the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial Centre. These are objects that were found in mass graves or on the path of the infamous ‘Death March’. The portraits and testimonies of the survivors and victims’ families attest to their fight to survive while commemorating the lives of those that were killed.

Photography by Armin Durgut, Curated by PCRC and Srebrenica Memorial Centre


Azema Đozić holds a photograph of her husband Mustafa, who was killed, along with his brother, in the Genocide. Mustafa’s remains were located in 2005, in a mass grave.

Before the war, Azema, Mustafa, and their three kids, lived happily in the village of Potočari. In July 1995, Mustafa, together with his brothers and other men, headed for the free territory because they knew that if they stayed at the United Nations base at Potočari, they would be killed. “We said our goodbyes with the promise that we would meet in the free territory in a few days.”


Munir Habibović spent six days on the Death March, along with thousands of other men who knew they would not be safe staying in the Srebrenica area nor the UN base at Potočari. He still remembers how he narrowly escaped an infamous ambush at Bukva during which about one thousand pf ther unarmed men were killed.

Munir’s deaf-mute brother Mirsad was killed in the Genocide whilst trying to seek protection at the UN base. Mirsad’s remains were found in the Lažete mass grave in 2002 and he was buried in the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial Center in 2003.


Ramiz Nukić holds the tinder box that survived the horrific Death March with him, a journey during which his father Sahin, uncle Ramo, and two brothers Vehid and Behadil were killed. The remains of his father, uncle and brother Vehid were found in three separate mass graves, and those of Behadil have not yet been found.

Before the war, Ramiz worked in construction, living in the village of Pobudje with his wife and five children. From 1993 to 1995, however, they lived as refugees in a garage in Srebrenica. Now, Ramiz works with the Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina to find objects and remains from the Genocide.


Rejha Ademović holds her son’s jacket, which she donated along with other personal items belonging to her husband Hakija and sons Nezir and Muamer, who were all killed in the Genocide trying to make their way to the free territory. Her son Muamer was only 15 years old.

“Before, I thought I wouldn’t be able to live if any of them died. I thought I wouldn’t be able to bear the sorrow. But here I am, still living, because I have to.”

Muamer’s remains were found in 2006, and, in 2015, a few of Hakija’s bones were found. Her greatest wish is to find and bury her son Nezir.


The Roma are Bosnia and Herzegovina’s largest national minority group, but also one of the most socially and economically marginalised. On the Margins was developed in order to directly combat harmful stereotypes and misconceptions about this group, their culture, and their important contribution to BiH society.

Photography by Armin Durgut


Ramiz and Saliha Čengalović live in the village of Očice, where Ramiz’s grandfathers lived. Two of the couple’s four children live and work abroad, where, Ramiz says, they are treated as equal to everyone else. He says that this is how it should be in BiH as well. “That’s how it was in Tito’s Yugoslavia. We all respected one another.”


Dragana Seferović-Pilav, mother of two and two-time gold medal winner in Taekwondo, finds peace in religion and purpose in her sport. “Through my attitude, education, and purposeful life, I have been able to overcome the prejudices that have befallen me as a Roma woman.”


Zahid Fafulović explains how music has always been something in which he finds joy. It is not his profession, as the stereotype goes. His son shows proficiency in the violin and he hopes that he will be able to get a scholarship to study it further. “He likes to perform the classics, especially Mozart. His professor says he is one of her best students."

012 Bisera Musić Ferhatović

Bisera Ferhatović is the oldest woman in her village and the last one able to speak the Romani language fluently. So, she makes sure to tell stories to the children in Romani, especially in the summer when they all sit around the bonfire outside. “I am always happy to see that young Roma people enjoy hearing me speak Romani."

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