One Step Forward, One Step Back, 8-14 May 2017, Novi Sad, Serbia

When President Tito died in 1980, the union of Yugoslavia began to unravel, with each republic claiming more autonomy. A series of political upheavals and conflicts in early 1990s, ethnic cleansing, forced migration and the intervention of the international community. Nowadays, the Balkans are once again becoming a hotspot for refugees, but this time they are hailing from different geographical and cultural backgrounds.

‘One Step Forward, One Step Back’ was a seminar within the framework of the project PATH, where SCI’s volunteers and activists gathered with an interest of working with refugees. This seminar was hosted by Volunteers’ Center of Vojvodina. Participants from more than 9 countries gathered for 7 days to learn, share, challenge, create and change.

During this seminar, participants have learned about the wars in ex-Yugoslavia, forced migrations and challenges during and after the wars, discussed existing initiatives that support refugees and migrants along the “Balkan route” in local communities. They experienced a “living library” (some as readers, some even as books themselves, sharing their personal experiences as refugees or people affected by forced migration) and helped organize a public event - documentary film screening followed by a discussion in CK13 Youth Center in Novi Sad, click here, which opened the space for narratives from the margin, and highlighted the importance of these stories in order to encourage, build and live peace in times when conflicts and bigotry seem to be given.

“I think that this seminar was an excellent experience, we have to learn how to face violence and discrimination, but not for now and not just in our local place.” said Sandra, a participant from Catalonia.

Check here, an article written by a participant from Kosovo.