Center for Peacebuilding

Our way is peace

CIM TEAM On November - 9 - 2017

“Village Harmony is pleased to announce its fourth camp in Bosnia and Hercegovina in a unique collaboration with the Center for Peacebuilding in the town of Sanski Most.

The Center for Peacebuilding (CIM) has been working for over a decade in Bosnia with the motto “Naš Put Je Mir” (“Our way ws peace”) in a mission to foster reconciliation among all the peoples of Bosnia. CIM’s inter-religious, multi-ethnic and inter-generational choir Harmonija will host Village Harmony in their home town. CIM’s co-founder, Vahidin Omanovic, an Islamic imam, skilled peacemaker and visionary leader will be one of the chief organizers of the camp together with Samira Merdžanić, choral director extraordinaire from the town of Bugojno.

This year’s Bosnia camp is a rare, and exciting opportunity to participate in the inner workings of a non-governmental organization dedicated to fostering dialogue, non-violent communication, and intercultural cooperation in varied, creative ways. A portion of each day will be spent learning about, participating in and observing CIM’s vast, creative, visionary projects in peace building.

We will spend time on the Peace Farm (Garden of Possibilities) – an organic farm where peace camps with young people take place as well as environmental education projects with local school children. And, we will have a special opportunity to observe the role of music, singing and community choirs as a direct means of fostering those goals.

The rehearsal week will take place at the Hotel Sanus in the western Bosnian town of Sanski Most on banks of the Sana River. In addition to working with the local choir Harmonija led by Alma Karabeg, we will have the opportunity to work with a number of excellent choral leaders from around Bosnia. After the rehearsal week we will have home stays with members of Harmonija, and perform several joint concerts in the area. From Sanski Most we will travel to several cities for more joint concerts with a wide variety of local choirs and home stays with local choir members.

Our tour will take us to Jajce, Donji Vakuf, Bugojno, Konjic, Fojnica and finally Sarajevo for day picnicking in the mountains around Sarajevo with members of a local folklore ensemble followed by a joint concert in the city.

Participants in this camp will explore Bosnia’s rich, diverse vocal music from both village and urban traditions of the Croatian, Serbian and Muslim peoples who live there. We will learn ancient village styles, melodies based on narrow, non-tempered tones and sung with great dynamic intensity as well as songs from the great sevdalinka tradition – lyrical love songs of the urban Muslim population, often called the “Bosnian blues”.

We will also study the sacred music of Bosnia’s spiritual traditions – Orthodox, Catholic, and Islamic. Men on this trip will have a rare chance to learn traditional Sufi chants. A dance choreographer from a local ensemble will teach us folk dancing each morning to start our day.

Veteran leader Mary Cay Brass, who organized and directed Village Harmony’s first three Bosnia camps and four Macedonia camps, will be joined by popular Village Harmony alumnus and camp leader Avery Book. Together they will teach a set of American and South African songs.

We have gathered a wonderful group of skilled choral leaders and musicians from around Bosnia to teach a cornucopia of styles. Samira Merdžanić, who co-led a Village Harmony teen camp in New England this past summer and Alma Karabeg, director of CIM’s choir Harmonija are highly trained and inspiring choral leaders whose choirs will host us and with whom we will sing joint concerts. Muamer Ćukle, a singer with the Sejfullah Islamic Choir will teach the men ancient Sufi chants. And Zorana Guja and Lejla Čaušević, two dynamic, young ethno-musicologists from the Academy of Music in Sarajevo and members of the ethno choir, Etno Akademik, will teach women’s village music.

This camp is open to teens 16 and older. There is a firm limit of 25 participants and there is already strong early interest in this camp. While at the camp, most rooms will be doubles and triples until our home stays. We will stay 9 nights in small local hotels and 6 nights in home stays.”

If you are interested in participating, you can find all the details about the application HERE.

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About Us

Today, the Center for Peacebuilding (CIM) stands on the former frontlines of the war, acting as a bridge between a past that few can currently discuss and a future where open dialogue can rehumanize the enemy and dispel the misinformation that acts as the seeds for hatred.

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