You are here: American University Campus Life Community Engagement & Service Spring Alt Break 2021

Peacebuilding after Conflict Sarajevo & Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

This virtual Alternative Break experience will explore the conflict and genocide in Bosnia, specifically the trends it shares with other genocides. We will seek to understand some of the underlying systemic causes and post-conflict efforts of reconciliation. Our community partners include the War Childhood Museum, Remembering Srebrenica, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, Local Democracy Agency of Mostar, and other individuals from the region who will share their stories. These interaction sill highlight the human element involved in conflict and peace-building and practices to ensure peace in our own communities. The program will share aspects of Bosnian culture as well, as we will learn about traditional coffee, copper making, pomegranates, and other traditional food like burek. We will host webinars with our partner organizations, listen to survivors’ stories, and explore virtual museum exhibits to learn more about this important part of European history.

In tandem with our community partners, Alternative Break participants will create a multimedia product sharing what we learned to both the AU community and the local communities we have connected with. An example of a multimedia product is a podcast with guided prompts and discussions with our partner organizations to spread their peacebuilding mission. To celebrate the conclusion of our intensive experience and showcase our multimedia product, we also plan to host a concluding virtual event for AU students and others in the DC community, ultimately using what we learned from our Bosnian partners to continue advocating for their needs.

Check out the Bosnia Alt Break Facebook Page

*Please note, exact program dates will be announced as they are confirmed. All prospective program particpants should attend a scheduled information session for program information. If you have immediate questions please contact altbreak@american.edu

Cedric Starks (He/Him/His) is a Sophomore studying Communications, Law, Economics, and Government in SPA. He enjoys travelling and trying new things, in a quest to enjoy everything the world has to offer. He loves playing most sports and activities because of the opportunity for competition and self-improvement. When he is not outside he loves to wind down with video games. Last year, during his enjoyable freshman year, he visited Bosnia for an alternative break and returned with a renewed sense of duty and excitement after learning how many Bosnians have and continue to reconcile after conflict. He is excited to lead this year’s alternative break to share Bosnia’s beauty and the exemplary work that many partners are engaged with to reconcile after conflict.

Alt Break Leader Cedric Headshot

Selma Tabakovic (She/Her/Hers) is a senior and a Politics, Policy, and Law Scholar studying Legal Studies in SPA. Her internship experiences in Washington D.C. have focused on the systemic barriers that individuals face in the U.S. and she is excited to continue to explore these issues in an international setting as well. After attending the alternative break program to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Winter of 2019, she felt a larger connection to her ethnic community by being able to delve deeper into the conflict while appreciating BiH for its beauty and resilience. As an alternative break leader, she is excited to continue to share the story of those that were impacted by the conflict and the peacebuilding work of key community members and organizations.

Alt Break Leader Selma Headshot