More than 2,100 citizens in 11 local communities across Bosnia and Herzegovina visited this year’s exhibition of works by mine victims and disabled artists. These works of art were created at an art colony organized in Banja Luka last year, with the support of the European Union.
In 2014, Maputo Action Plan paved the way to the “mine-free world by 2025” and called States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty to demonstrate their commitment to the full, equal and effective participation of mine victims in society. European Union supported this initiative in its project “Integrated socio-economic support to landmine victims in BiH”. World Vision and Organization of amputees UDAS, implementers of the project, promote survivors’ participation throughout the project in different ways.
Landmine survivors and artists with disabilities, as participants of the Art colony “It is all about abilities!” in August 2018 in Banja Luka, demonstrated interest to contribute and discuss how to raise public awareness of mine, disability and challenges issues that survivors and people with disabilities face in daily life.
The exhibition of artworks traveled through 11 project benefiting municipalities where the authors of the works, landmine survivors and other citizens had the opportunity to speak with representatives of local authorities about the need to remove barriers and create an inclusive social and economic environment where mine victims are empowered to exercise their rights as any other person in the community.
Although some municipalities did not have dedicated spaces for art exhibitions, solutions were found and works were displayed in public offices such as a public health center or municipal administration office.
Through the traveling exhibition of artworks by survivors and artists with disabilities in mine-affected municipalities, the project highlighted the indispensable value of art in breaking social barriers and bridging socially constructed differences.
The project through art, contributed to the promotion of the ambitious goal of creating “Mine, barrier and victim free BiH by 2025!” and increasing the participation and integration of mine survivors in the community and society.