On November 18th, in Dječija kuća Novo Sarajevo, a full day public talk entitled “Reactivation of the Space for Social and Cultural Activities in Sarajevo – A Model of Public-Civic Partnership” was held, organized by Akcija Sarajevo, and implemented as part of the Cooperative RegLab Program.
There are a large number of abandoned, neglected or underutilized public spaces in Sarajevo. At the same time, a huge number of civil society organizations, artists and civic initiatives have not had adequate working space for decades, further compromising their highly sensitive position. Much of the discussion about reactivating neglected spaces boils down to their potential commercialization, without a clear vision of engaging citizens and staying true to the original purpose and mission of the facility in question.
This event was focused on finding the answers to the following questions: what is the path for the reactivation of public social and cultural spaces and their return to citizens; whether this is feasible by making these spaces available for free use and management of civic organizations and initiatives; can we imagine a different future for public spaces through culture of community and sharing; can Sarajevo have a community center that serves all citizens, regardless of their financial status; how to create conditions for citizens to reunite, socialize, build confidence, share, and initiate joint actions, and, finally, what is the role of culture and art in this process.
The event was attended by cultural activists, artists, citizens, university professors, students, local government representatives, entrepreneurs and donors who discussed ideas for the future of public social and cultural spaces. The participants were: Aida Kalender (Akcija Sarajevo ), Lejla Kreševljaković (Faculty of Architecture, University of Sarajevo), Boriša Mraović (researcher in the organization Crvena Sarajevo), Irena Boljunčić-Gracin (Trans Europe Halles and Rojc Pula Association), Enes Besovic (House of Culture Hrasnica), Belma Kutlovac (Vratnik House of Culture) and Lejla Kreševljaković, PhD candidate in the field of community centers.