Feedback of Le Rendez-vous de Sarajevo
Wednesday 17 February 2016

« Better first to deconstruct rather than to destroy for reconstruction »: this is what Donato Giuliani, Cultural Councellor for the French Ambassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, director of the French Institute in Sarajevo believes in. This was also the question that we debated, last 4/5 February during « le Rendez-vous de Sarajevo » that was held by the LIKE network together with the French Institute, the French Ambassy and UNESCO, in Sarajevo. What can culture do within this processes of deconstruction/reconstruction ? How can culture participate in deconstructing as well as reconstructing the modalities for social cohesion ? These are questions of peculiar importance in today's Bosnian context, whose cohesion has been destroyed for 20 years and in which professional and elected actors have now been working on reconstructing…

Bosnia-Herzegovina can be pictured, on many levels, as a European lab of intercultural dialogue. « Le Rendez-vous de Sarajevo » allowed present members to dive in local and national cultural realities, in a country that is still being hurt by the remnants of the war and the complexity of its post-war administrative organisation.
It is within this context that cultural actors' energy and strong will have impressed LIKE members.
Moments of debates and networking allowed LIKE members to go into further details of inspiring local cultural initiatives : to be noted, demanding lectures by the speakers (Susanne Prahl and the Kid's Festival, Sanela Klaric and the Green Council, Pierre Courtin and Duplex100m²…) but also, the presence of another great number of Bosnian participants and their overall determination to work together for reconstructing social cohesion.
The LIKE team would like to thank again everyone that was involved in the organisation of this event : speakers, participants, UNESCO and the French Institute.

Deconstruction/Reconstruction : it has also been a strong problematic in the renewed context of the LIKE network. On February 3rd, board members met in the ammenities of the French Institute for their first meeting in 2016. A few topics of their discussions :
- 2015 financial statement was approved ;
- 2016 provisionnary budget was validated ;
- the work on the network's Chart of Values was initiated…
In general, « Le Rendez-vous de Sarajevo » was also the opportunity for present members to meet and discuss the future of the network and its projects. (cf our report of activity)
After a few years of absence in Bosnia-Herzegovina, February 's meeting has also been the opportunity for the newtork to settle back again in the country. Ivo Komsic, Sarajevo's Mayor, reaffirmed the capital's commitment towards the network, and no less than 3 other localities (Maglaj, Doboj and Samac) volunteered for adhesion. While President Michaël Moglia was meeting with the Mayor of Sarajevo, Treasurer Evelyne Biribin met with Mayors of Maglaj and Doboj when on a trip to visit the cities' cultural infrastructure that was organised by the French Institute.

In the end, this « Rendez-vous » has been the occasion for the network to meet with a few challenges :
- repositioning in the country and developing its presence with 4 new members
- gaining awareness of cultural realities in the country
- reaffirming the LIKE network's important role of cultural actor in Europe and beyond, thanks to the French Institute, the French Ambassy and UNESCO making a prominent place for the network within their joint programme, as well as the inspiring human relationships that have been initiated.

A very positive beggining of the year 2016 that bodes well for the rest of LIKE's work, which has already started working on the next manifestations !