Using arts as a common denominator between cultures, the British-Bosnian charity organisation Most Mira is to open a new arts centre in the Prijedor area, in the northern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Originally founded by former Omarska concentration camp detainee Kemal Pervanic, Most Mira (which means Bridge of Peace) aims to bring peace to war-torn communities through engaging ethnically diverse locals in activities such as youth art festivals, theatre workshops, peace building visits and tours and architectural projects.
“For us, peace-building involves outstretching your hand to break the invisible barrier between communities, aiming to create a chain of events that lead to better understanding of the other,” claim the Most Mira team.
The architectural project was initiated in 2014 as part of a workshop which brought together graduates and architects from different backgrounds. In April 2018 the project won the prestigious Collegium Artisticum Bosnian Architecture Award for Best Idea. After years of work, Most Mira is currently crowdfunding to raise the last 100,000 GBP it needs to move forward.
The new arts centre will be made of rammed earth, a technology which combines the modern process of forming walls with traditional building methods and turns them into something current and relevant in the contemporary context. The benefits of this method include low carbon emissions, low cost of raw materials and good thermal mass. The design consists of transforming the first house destroyed in the village into a vibrant public destination for the arts. Rooms spiral off the central courtyard on the ground floor including a flexible theatre, arts studio, and craft workshop, while the first floor provides dormitories for visitors.
The site of the new arts centre will be Kevljani, a village close to its founder’s hometown. As very limited employment opportunities are present in rural areas, the project also also allow the organisation to have more permanent presence in the community, having a fixed location where to host and develop their regular activities, offering jobs to locals.
Photo: The village of Kevljani before work began. Source: Most Mira