In September 2011, a team of six young women from Mulberry School embarked upon a journey to explore the turbulent history of Bosnia, and the genocide that occurred there during the period of 1992-1995. It was the worst genocide in the history of Europe since World War Two. Thousands and thousands of people were killed during this period, most of whom were Muslims. We filmed interviews with survivors of the siege of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and of the genocide in Srebrenica, where over 8000 Muslim men and boys were murdered in a matter of three days. We aimed to find out what justice means to the survivors.
We continued our quest and travelled to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at the Hague to witness the trial of the man accused of masterminding these crimes – the war time leader of the Bosnian Serbs, Dr Radovan Karadzic. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is a United Nations court of law dealing with war crimes that took place during the conflict in Bosnia in the 1990’s. This was a journey of self-discovery, where we learnt the meaning of justice, both personally and what it means to the survivors as well as those in the justice system.
Having gone to Bosnia and meeting the survivors of the war we realized that they are victims of a war that began the year some of us were born and it was only a matter of chance that we were born in England, whilst the war occurred in Bosnia, yet other people our age died everyday as a result of the war. It was a mind-numbing experience, to think that only by the virtue of one’s birthplace did one avoid war during the early 1990s.
At a time when the youth, especially young Asian Muslim women are perceived to be uninterested in the world, we wanted to break the mould and show the world that young people have a role in positive world change. However we came away from this experience with a deeper sense of personal responsibility for the stories that we heard – to ensure that the voices of the survivors are heard widely so that genocide never happens again. The survivors of this war all had one thing in common – justice to them meant their story being heard by the world so that history does not repeat itself. This film aims to demonstrate that through the power of storytelling we can make a change and work towards spreading peace and justice across the world.