BiHmust continue to promote Diversity, Tolerance and Intercultural Cooperation

Illustrating that cultural diversity develops and makes a society more attractive and competitive, the film ‘When we are Fewer” was screened during Sarajevo Film Festival in the presence of its protagonists, representatives of national minorities, the  European Union and the Council of Europe which supported the film’s development. “I am not ashamed of my Roma nationality, I don’t think of prejudice or if someone will offend me or hurt me,” proudly states Dajana Durić, an officer for Roma affairs in the Brčko District administration as well as a young chimney sweep.

The documentary film, that portrays the extraordinary lives of national minorities in BiH, was produced through a joint initiative of the European Union and the Council of Europe aiming to empower the protection of national minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The film portrays the lives of individuals living in five BiH cities, showcasing their rich heritage and everyday struggles, and conveying the message that minority rights are among the fundamental rights of the European Union.

Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Head of the Delegation of the European Union and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, congratulated the film crew and everyone involved in the film’s production noting that the film addresses the way citizens perceive themselves and how important it is for them to express themselves freely.“Non-discrimination and socio-economic integration of minorities belong to the core values of the European Union. Protection of national minorities is vital for social inclusion and it will have to be regulated before BiH enters the EU. Education and tolerance are key to changing the perception of citizens and it will be easier to change laws,” said Ambassador Wigemark.

During an interactive panel with the film’s protagonists and Ambassadors Wigemark and Drahoslav Štefánek, Head of the CoE Office in Sarajevo, it was highlighted that Bosnia and Herzegovina must continue to promote diversity, tolerance and intercultural cooperation, and that joint efforts and cooperation of international community, local governments and civil society is needed to defend the human rights of minorities as well as of all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. By making a film about minorities, we have made a film about all people in BiH, because everyone in it can easily find themselves in the position of a minority and consequently have their rights jeopardized,” stressed Neven Samardžić, the film’s Director.

The film “When we are Fewer” (2019) promotes equality and respect for the human rights of national minorities and supports the preservation and further development and visibility of the culture and identity of national minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Filming took place during one year – March 2018 to April 2019 as part of the activities of a project implemented through the joint EU and CoE programme framework ‘Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey’.

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