Respecting the decisions of state authorities regarding the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of corona virus (COVID-19), the Balkan Youth School (BSY) has successfully continued its activities online. On Sunday, 12 April 2020, the Balkan Youth School had a great privilege to host a distinguished Professor Benjamin Moore from Fontbonne University, USA.
Associate Professor Moore is the founder and director of Fontbonne University's Bosnia Memory Project, dedicated to fostering an understanding of St. Louis’s Bosnian refugee community (70,000-90,000 Bosnians), and to preserving the memory of Bosnian genocide survivors by recording oral histories and collecting artifacts and documents. Dr. Moore, who speaks frequently about the Bosnian diaspora, helped to develop the traveling exhibit Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide, which has been shown at twenty-one locations throughout the U.S., including Capitol Hill. In 2016, Dr. Moore’s work was recognized with a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which will fund the development of courses about Bosnia-Herzegovina in high schools having large Bosnian immigrant populations.
During the seminar titled “Bosnia Memory Project: The American Perspective of Genocide in BiH, students had the opportunity to be acquainted with the main activities of Fontbonne University’s Bosnia Memory Project and to discuss with the professor about the importance of keeping the memory of genocide. Professor Moore also shared his own experience on conducting the interviews (using oral history method) with genocide survivors, and also how the stories have impacted him. In addition to the discussion, participants were given the opportunity to listen to testimonies from individuals about finding the bones of loved ones, their experiences on returning to Bosnia and Herzegovina, challenges of identity, etc.
The Balkan Youth School is an educational platform in the humanities, social and religious sciences. The study program is organized through modules, providing basic knowledge of history, human rights, international relations, political theories and issues, socio-political and religious issues, Ottoman history, arts and architecture, genocide studies, leadership and political thought.
The project is being implemented by the Balkan Studies Center of the International University of Sarajevo (IUS) and supported by The Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB).