Commons! Creative ways of Acivism and Participation

The Conference ”Commons! Creative Ways of Activism and Participation“organized by Heinrich Böll Foundation, Sarajevo Office, took place on 13-14 June in Banja Luka. The conference brought together over 60 activists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and Albania to share their experience, to learn from one another and to debate on future perspectives of commons-based initiatives development. The conference was structured around panel discussions, presentations and facilitated working groups to allow all participants to enter into practical discussions. It helped to learn from the diversity of experience that participants brought to the conference.

The participants warned that current privatization, commercialization and restricting access to public space and natural resources, health care system, higher education, agricultural land, and other commons endanger human existence and the environment in the region and wider. Moreover, there is an urgent need to encourage discussion and greater mobilization of public opposition to the current frequent abuses in the management of public resources and services, and to create opportunities for their management for the benefit of society in order to achieve social justice and sustainability.

The following issues were identified as crucial for future perspectives of commons initiatives: overwhelming apathy; lack of autonomous spaces for civic initiatives; lack of knowledge on legal issues – in B&H legal aid is dearly needed. Additionally, there is a need to build a network and share knowledge.

The conference report, presentations and photos are now available for download.