Development of the project War Childhood
Start of the project
In June 2010, Jasminko Halilović the author of the project ‘War Childhood,’ launched an online call for people who spent a part of their childhood in war to send a short answer to the question ‘What was a war childhood for you?’ The aim was to make a book composed of a number of short recollections, which would present different aspects of this experience.
The first 100 recollections
The idea attracts a lot of attention immediately and just in one day over 100 people got involved.
The first 1,000 recollections
In the first three months, over 1,000 people from 35 different countries sent their memories.
Two-year editorial work
The job of editing these recollections, initially supposed to last for several months, in the end lasted for about two years. During this process, Halilović communicated with each of over 1000 participants.
The concept of the museum
Inspired by different stories of the participants, as well as by items shown to him, Halilović elaborates on the concept of ‘War Childhood Museum’, but this idea was left aside since all resources were directed at the publication of the book.
Publication of the book 'War Childhood: Sarajevo 1992–1995'
The long-awaited book was published in February 2013. The first part of the book includes introductory texts on BiH, Sarajevo and the author’s war story. The second and main part brings short recollections from over 1,000 people. The third section of the book includes longer memories and documents, such as diary entries, letter, photographs and memories…
Promotion in Sarajevo
The book was promoted in Sarajevo on 5 February 2013 in front of nearly 1,000 people in fully packed Youth House. The only speakers at the promotion were those who participated in the book.
Promotion in Belgrade
The promotion of the book and the accompanying exhibition took place in the Cultural Center in Belgrade as part of the Festival ‘Days of Sarajevo in Belgrade’.
Promotion in the European Parliament
The book was also promoted at the European Parliament in Brussels. In her review, Doris Pack writes: ‘As President of the European Cultural Committee, I applaud the efforts of Mr. Halilović to ensure that we do not forget this recent period of European history.’
Presentation in Austria
The book was presented at the House of Literature in the city of Graz.
Presentation in Poland
The book was presented at the Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin, Poland.
The German edition of the book was published under the title ‘Kindheit im Krieg’ and was presented in Vienna.
Meanwhile, in addition to German, the book was also translated to English, Polish, Japanese, Spanish, and some of its parts in Turkish and French. The Japanese edition will be published soon by the largest Japanese publisher Shueisha Inc.
The team for War Childhood Museum
In February 2015, Halilović finally brings together a team to create a collection for the future War Childhood Museum. The first person to join the team was Selma Tanović, head of research.
The project team, in cooperation with consultants, developed a methodology by which the collection of the War Childhood Museum will be created. This includes the development of all research tools, as well as the methodology of cataloging and digitizing the collection. In addition, an evaluation plan was prepared, which will measure the impact of the process on the participants, as well as on the visitors/users of the collection.
The start of creating a collection
Exactly 5 years after starting the project ‘War Childhood’, the project enters a new and exciting phase – the beginning of creating a collection for the future War Childhood Museum.
Shueisha Int, a major Japanese publisher, published a Japanese-language edition of War Childhood. A series of presentations in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima followed the book’s release. It was included in the major Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun’s “three books to read from 2015.”
First temporary exhibition
The War Childhood Museum held its first temporary exhibition in Sarajevo in March 2016. Its ten-day run drew more than 4,000 visitors and was covered not only by the most relevant domestic media, but also by various international outlets as well – including the BBC and Reuters.
Building for a permanent exhibition
The Old Town Municipality allocated a space to the War Childhood Museum in September 2016. Renovation and adaptation of the building began immediately.
Opening of the permanent exhibition
The War Childhood Museum opened the doors to its permanent collection in January 2017.
An English-language edition of War Childhood was released for the Bosnian market in April 2017. It includes a reflection on the creation of the museum as well as a preview of its collection.
WCM launched its international expansion in April 2017. It currently operates in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon, Ukraine, and the United States.