"This is special but also a dangerous exhibition”, said Srđan Puhalo at the opening of the exhibition “Peace with Women’s Face” in Sarajevo. Dangerous, as the women shown in the exhibition resisted war, patriarchate, capitalism, their own fear; their fates destroy the illusion of ethnic divide, and their histories spite the officially ethnic divided histories of Bosnia and Hercegovina.
The exhibition is a result of cooperation and efforts of the women’s peace movement Mir sa ženskim licem (Peace with Women’s Face) and Forum Ziviler Friedensdienst (forumZFD) together with the History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina to integrate a female perspective in the process of facing the past and peace building in Bosnia and Herzegovina and present the women’s side of the story about the survival and overcoming the consequences of war. This exhibition is dedicated to women that have led small (and big) fights for their rights in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina and have rebuilt the war-torn society. For the exhibition, the biography and important messages of twenty women were selected. Women who survived rape, domestic violence, lost family members, saved neighbours and unknown persons, women who did not stay passive, but stood up, fought for their rights and the rights of others, empowered women, believe in equality of all and solidarity. The twenty women shown in the exhibition are from all places, different ages, courses of lives and different background. Through the exhibition, the organizers want to highlight the specific experiences of women during and after the war, add important aspects to the mainly male dominated ethno-centric narratives of war and peace.
The exhibition was opened on 8 March at the History Museum in Sarajevo, with more than 200 guests attending, more than 70 mainly women have come from different places like Zvornik, Bijeljina, Tuzla, Banja Luka, Prijedor, Mostar. In her opening speech, German Ambassador to BiH, Christiane Hohmann, emphasized the importance of the exhibition and its message, showing women as active creators of society. The first feedbacks to the exhibition are highly encouraging and show that the exhibition is thought-provoking. Until end of March, the exhibition will be on display in the History Museum and shall then travel, later in the year to Banja Luka and Bijeljina. For 2020, an adapted exhibition is planned to be shown by in Germany, in cooperation with forumZFDs partner Pax Christi Aachen.