The 21-strong group associated with the East London You Press social enterprise travelled to Bosnia & Herzegovina with the UK charity Remembering Srebrenica. The group of artists, musicians and writers was led by Farah Mohammoud – founder of You Press.
Part of the charity’s ‘Lessons from Srebrenica’ educational visits programme, the delegation met with survivors and relatives of the victims, as well as officials from the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).
Group members learned about the events in July 1995 – which resulted in the systematic murder of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys. They will now begin work on a performance art project ‘I Remember Srebrenica’ that will help raise awareness of the genocide and its lessons for London communities.
Farah Mohammoud said:
“This is a group of young artists, writers and poets who have been deeply affected by the experience we shared in Srebrenica. These champions for change will use what they have seen and heard within their communities to help shape a better society in London. Last year I came to Srebrenica as a delegate and pledged to do everything I could to stop this happening again. Our young artists will use their talents and gifts to turn their experiences into a powerful performance and accessible performance to challenge hatred in their own communities.”
As well as learning about the current situation for survivors and families whose loved ones were killed, the group is looking at the lessons which can be taken from the genocide. Inspired by their experience they have pledged to take social action in their communities across London on their return to the UK.
You Press is a social enterprise that supports young writers and poets to promote their opinions and poetry to the local, national and international press. The organisation believes in the power of words and stories to change lives for the better.
Emily Churchill Zaraa, 28, of Bethnal Green, said:
We’re aiming to help people in London communities understand and learn the lessons from Srebrenica. It’s so important that we create understanding of the genocide among new generations in Britain. ”
Annisa Khan, 20, of Mill Hill, said:
I was born in the year of the genocide. Coming here has opened my eyes and I see the true extent of this tragedy. There has been no closure in Bosnia and the effects are still being felt today. I’m determined to share the lessons from Srebrenica with my peers.”
Remembering Srebrenica is the UK charity which raises awareness of this genocide in the UK. It works with individuals and organisations to help strengthen British society by learning the lessons of history to help tackle hatred, racism and intolerance wherever it occurs.
Dr Waqar Azmi OBE, chairman and founder of Remembering Srebrenica UK, said:
A vital aspect of Remembering Srebrenica’s education programme is to provide the opportunity for people to learn from the genocide. It is wonderful to have this group of creative and individual young people learning valuable insights and lessons, which they can then use to help strengthen their communities in London.”