Conflicts have always been a major part of a human’s life: they do interfere with our inner self on personal level, they appear to be there in interpersonal relations, they do have something to do in national and international level. Yes, conflicts are everywhere, but what is more important to mention is the human ability to overcome all sorts of conflicts and give way to peace.
This year the first week of spring was a real revival for me. I had the honour to present Society without Violence NGO in a study visit to Kosovo entitled “Transitional justice and Dealing with the Past” with the participation of representatives from Georgia, Azerbaijan, Abkhazia and Nagorno Karabakh and with the support of Kvinna till Kvinna.
The 5 days’ study trip gave the participants from countries which have frozen conflicts between them a chance to see a conflict which has so much in common with theirs when it comes to pain and suffering of those who face the conflict. This was a step inside to the soul of women in Kosovo who undertook so many sufferings during the conflict and still do face hatred and indifference, and who are able to struggle and to fight for justice even in that conditions.
The participants met different women organizations working on transitional justice and dealing with the past. The representative from organizations presented the work of their organization and explained the above-mentioned concept on the example of their organization’s work.
Days were full of travelling to different regions of Kosovo and meeting representatives of different women organizations working to promote peace and to help women who suffered during the war and are still suffering because their voice are not heard and the truth is not spoken out.
It was really very inspiring to see Serbian women facing so many difficulties just for being there in Kosovo to help Kosovo women in their fight for justice. Nothing could be more touching than a Mother who had lost her 4 sons and husband in the war with no glue on where their bodies are. A mother who made her home a museum for making her voice heard and to act as a triumph over all sorts of conflicts and injustice in the world.
Besides the truly emotional aspects of the trip, there was a lot of practical information on tools and tactics of working with the past and on the concept of transitional justice. We met women activists who shared their experiences, gave practical tools on using different aspects of art in conflict reconciliation.
March 8 protest with hundreds of women in front of Kosovo’s government building, asking for a pro-active approach in talks with Belgrade, and justice for all the women and girls raped during the conflict was the top of all the activities during the week. We, women from different countries, stood there in solidarity with other women for justice and peace.