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Following last year’s openings in Sarajevo, Mostar, and Belgrade, the WCM’s “Speaking Out” exhibition returns to Sarajevo as the central event of the campaign started by the Forgotten Children of War Association which calls on historical legal recognition of children born of war in BiH. The exhibition will be on view at the City Hall (Vijecnica) from December 5 to 9.

In July 2022, children born of war in BiH were recognized as civilian victims of war within Brčko District, which is a symbolic, but important step toward addressing their needs. By presenting personal stories, belongings, and video testimonies of survivors of wartime sexual violence and children born of war, that is, by Speaking Out together, we once again highlight the rights and needs of children and survivors, calling on the adoption of the Law on Civilian Victims of War in all of BiH.

The exhibition is set to open at the City Hall on Monday, December 5, at 12:00, and will be on view for the public from 14:00 on the same day. The exhibition will remain open until Friday, December, 9, from 9:00 to 17:00. Find all relevant information and updates by following the event link.

Announcement visual

The War Childhood Museum’s “Speaking Out” exhibition is dedicated to and co-produced with women survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, who were children and young people at the time, and children born of war. It was preceded by several months’ work on documenting these experiences, and a body mapping workshop during which the survivors of wartime sexual violence conveyed their life experiences by using art as a medium. The workshop provided the survivors with the opportunity to observe their life in its entirety, and not solely through lived trauma, thus enabling them to work on strengthening their individual capacities and affirming personal values.

Featured in the exhibition are the twelve body maps created during the workshop, each one showing a life-sized silhouette of the survivor and their inscriptions or drawings regarding major life experiences and events, as well as personal hopes for the future.

Red Dress as worn by Natasha Faye

As a part of the exhibition, all visitors will be able to see the Red Dress, the result of the award-winning, global, collaborative embroidery project conceived by British artist Kirstie Macleod as a way of providing a space of connection and unity for women worldwide to share their personal stories through embroidery. The Red Dress’s 13-year-long creation journey involved contributions from 347 women and 7 men from 48 countries, and will conclude in Sarajevo, with final embroidery stitches added prior to the exhibition by the women survivors of wartime sexual violence whose experiences will be presented. Among those who contributed to the creation of the Red Dress are women refugees from Palestine, Syria, and Ukraine, asylum seekers, civilian war victims from various countries, and impoverished women worldwide.

The exhibition is realized in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration IOM BiH, the Forgotten Children of War Association, the Wings of Hope Foundation, the Psiholab Association, and with the support of the EU Delegation in BiH and the UK Government.