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CHIBOW researcher takes part in important CBOW book launch & reading

Amra Delic, PhD researcher within the CHIBOW ITN, proposed and coordinated the translation project of the German book "Wir Besatzungskinder" (engl. We, the Occupation Children) into Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian aiming at raising public awareness about the category “children born of war” in BiH, which remain in the shadow of the war, socially invisible and not heard of over two decades later.

Delic's knowledge and lifetime experience of the complex social, cultural and political setting, and the culture of silence that surrounds “children born of war” in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), ensured that, from the very beginning of her involvement in the Marie Curie Action / CHIBOW ITN, she has taken the lead on projects promoting cross border communication of issues relating to CBOW.

The book lunch and reading was organized on the 11th July 2016, in Sarajevo (BiH) by the Transcultural Psychosocial Educational (TPO) Foundation Sarajevo who received a translation grant from TRADUKI and implemented the project. Moderator and translator of the book, Monja Suta-Hibert (TPO Sarajevo, BiH), the author of the book Ute Baur-Timmerbrink from Berlin (Germany), and the presenters Dr. Heide Glaesmer (University of Leipzig) and Amra Delic (ESR/University of Greifswald) took part in the book presentation.

In her opening speech Amra explained the importance of the German book translation into local languages for the process of appropriate facing the past in the region, and prevention of intergenerational trauma transmission. She drew a parallel between the two situations of “occupation children” from Germany and Austria and “children born of war” from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and has launched an initiative to break the conspiracy of silence around this issue ongoing even within the Bosnian academic community and among mental health professionals. Doc. Dr. Heide Glaesmer spoke about effects of the Second World War on the health of civilian population, and highlighted the harmful psychosocial effects, stigma, discrimination and other problems that “children born of war” face as they grow up and throughout their life span – the results found in recent German study on “occupation children”. Mrs. Ute Baur-Timmerbrink shared her own experience of being an “occupation child”, the challenging experiences from the journey to the past of other “occupation children”, and a burden of unresolved issues while seeking the truth about their origin.

It is expected that understanding and empathizing with lifelong experiences of the “occupation children” born in Germany and Austria during and after the Second World War will inspire Bosnian readers to recognize “children born of war” as a separate and vulnerable group whose needs are to be addressed, and hopefully encourage “children born of war” from Bosnia and Herzegovina to face the past. Eventually, sensitizing Bosnian society and academic community as well, might facilitate the process of initial identifying and recruiting the “hidden population” for the CHIBOW study in Bosnia, with the main goal to make a contribution to filling the knowledge gap on how to better serve “children born of war”.

The book lunch has received the huge media coverage, and audience both local and international raised many challenging questions for discussion.


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