An ACM Foundation delegation traveled between May 9 and 12 to Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to establishing the ACM Circle of Sarajevo and with it, reaffirming the presence of the FACM throughout the Mediterranean basin. The mission was led by the ACM Foundation president, Vicent Garcés, by the advisory board member, Ricard Pérez Casado, who was EU administrator in Mostar immediately after the conflict in 1996, and the journalist Esma Kucukalic.
The formal constitution of the ACM circle in this symbolic city is made up by committed and outstanding members in the public sphere, in those related to culture and art, science, the defense of human rights, intercultural dialogue and respect to diversity. Ibrahim Spahic, director of Sarajevo Winter Festival and president of the International Center for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Dr. Cazim Hadzimejlic, professor at the University of Sarajevo and UNESCO International Prize for his contribution to the protection of cultural heritage; Leyla Kucukalic, artista and researcher at the Polytechnic University of Valencia; Ali Esquembre, theoretical physicist; Elma Hodzic, curator of the History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Emina Saracevic, internationalist attorney in Law, and Esma Kucukalic, journalist specialized in Balkans.
The circle’s constitution meeting was followed by a panel discussion at the History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina where the president of the ACM Foundation, Vicent Garcés and Ricard Pérez Casado, intervened on the question of borders, the heritage and the role of the citizenship in the preservation of our common legacy in the Mediterranean.
During its stay, the FACM delegation held meetings with various cultural and civil society agents to learn about the situation of the country, as well as the projects especially linked to citizenship. The FACM visited emblematic places of Sarajevo and Mostar, such as the Vraca monumental complex that commemorates the death of thousands of Sarajevo citizens at the hands of fascism, nowadays severely damaged by the lack of a state budget to maintain it; the Hsitory Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina with its permanent exhibition on the Sarajevo siege or the Atelier Memorial of the renowned Bosnian sculptor Alija Kucukalic, killed in the conflict and author of anthological sculptures such as Executions or the Figure in the Chair, symbols of Sarajevo.
In Mostar, the ACM Foundation was received by the members of the Center for Peace and Multiethnic Coexistence and the Mostar Circle Association. They shared a symbolic walk through the city. From the top of the Old Bridge the Delegation laid roses in respect and memory for all victims of the last conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This association and the ACM Foundation are linked by the figure of the writer Predrag Matvejevic, honorary member of the ACM Foundation who was, on this occasion, warmly remembered in his hometown.
The visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina concluded with a fraternal dinner at the legendary Holiday Inn hotel, an Olympic hotel and headquarter to the international press during the siege of Sarajevo. During the dinner, the members of the newly constituted ACM Sarajevo circle agreed a declaration calling for “building trust in others and in a different one, all for a life together within culture of diversity” . With this incorporation, the ACM Foundation expands its network and presence throughout the Mediterranean region.