The Canton Sarajevo’s Minister of Culture and Sports, Kenan Alikadic (SDA party), cut off the funding intended for the War Childhood Museum in the year marked by the pandemic, and thus joined efforts with the Federal Minister Zora Dujmić (HDZ party) in an attempt to use the current situation and endanger the War Childhood Museum’s existence. Kenan Alikadić presented the War Childhood Museum with a total amount of 0 BAM, despite the fact that the Canton of Sarajevo’s draft budget, adopted by the Assembly of the Canton of Sarajevo, had allocated 50.000 BAM for the War Childhood Museum, it was stated from the WCM.
In early April, with the aim of saving jobs and projects, the Museum petitioned the Minister for a swift payment of the funds intended for the Museum, based on the aforementioned draft budget, in the face of dire circumstances. The Minister’s reply never arrived and now in September the prolonged process of allocating funds ended with the War Childhood Museum left deprived of any funding at all.
In the meantime, a public call was issued and a timely application for the intended funds was submitted – the War Childhood Museum had met all the criteria specified by the call. It remains unclear what Minister Alikadić did with the 50.000 BAM intended by the draft budget for the WCM, that is, who and under what conditions received the said amount instead. In addition, equally unclear are the criteria under which certain projects that received funding are perceived as more relevant to culture in the Canton of Sarajevo than the War Childhood Museum. This is especially the case when those projects are from associations unknown to the public or from private companies who had no previous dealings in the sphere of culture, or when they are simply not carried out in the Canton of Sarajevo.
Minister Zora Dujmović, whose dealings have previously been declared as unlawful by the Federal Audit Office, continues to use budget funds arbitrarily, ensuring that the War Childhood Museum, following the statement regarding the Minister’s illegal actions from 2016, is not given the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports for the fifth consecutive year.
Despite this, the WCM has carried out important projects, such as the #ChildrenAndGenocide online campaign and exhibition that reached over 11 million people, opened an office in Kyiv (Ukraine) and succeeded in protecting all jobs and implementing a majority of the planned activities. By the end of 2020, the War Childhood Museum will have brought over million BAM to BiH from abroad, while pouring in 200.000 BAM into state and local budgets on various bases. In this way, the Museum continues to contribute to the development of both the cultural scene and economy in BiH, but also, unfortunately, to the salaries of people unqualified and not literate enough to do jobs bestowed upon them by their political parties.
The War Childhood Museum would like to thank all of its partners and friends for the support that they have shown us from 2015 to today, and especially in the year 2020 which has left the museum industry facing many challenges which were previously unheard of. You can support our work with a donation via our website: https://warchildhood.org/donate/.