The project Mitrovica’s Joint Stories aims at bringing together various communities inhabiting the city of Mitrovica, where social and ethnic divisions still prevail. GAIA plans to organize events to reach inhabitants of the whole city, divided between a Serbian majority in the North and an Albanian majority in the South, to make those separated inhabitants interact.

Through those encounters, we intend to build trust between people of different communities, so that they can feel closer of every part of the city. Another objective is to confront the taboos, shaking the status quo of the divided city, by bringing to
the front stories of a joint past, of inter-communities cooperation, of peace and what it means in the city, etc. An additional more specific objective is to bring cultural and educational opportunities in the city, to fight the apathy and hopelessness of the youth.

The main activities are community-based cultural events that encourage interethnic cooperation and exchange between all communities of Mitrovica. These include the “Storytelling Caravan”, a series of one-day gatherings that invite locals to tell stories about their own life experiences in the city and about the ways the various communities have been finding ways to meet and live together peacefully. Another ongoing series of events are the dance lessons that aim at bringing together youth interested in dance and physical exercise as a catalyst for trust-building and cooperation. The third activity is entitled the “peace garden” which is an ongoing activity at the working space of GAIA in Mitrovica which will focus on implementing permaculture principles when planning the garden and organize weekly open hours for all communities of Mitrovica to get to know the GAIA team and learn about alternative ways of urban farming in relation to peacefully coexisting. The project starts implementation in January and lasts until May 2019.

This project is financed by the European Union, through the Youth Communication Center of Banja Luka.