I graduated from high school at the United World College in Mostar, which is an international school that accepts students from all over the world based on their commitment to creating world peace. It’s kind of an absurdly idealistic mission, and the school itself is a bit absurd, too, housed in a huge, bright orange Ottoman-style building in the middle of a town which was in the middle of the armed ethnic conflict that happening in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1993 to 1996. I haven’t been back to Mostar since I graduated from school there in 2013, but this summer, I’ll be catching a plane and doing a project. Here’s basic the idea:
December 2015 marked twenty years since the formal end of the armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). But reading international media coverage about BiH, you might think the country was still at war. In the surface-level stories most commonly published, Bosnia is consistently connected with phrases like “war-torn,” and “impoverished,” and more in-depth pieces almost always focus on current ethnic tensions or memorials to genocide. Those issues are real and relevant in Bosnia and Herzegovina but they aren’t the whole story.