Opening of exhibition “Women of Srebrenica”

BRUSSELS – To mark the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, inaugurated today in Brussels the photo exhibition “Women of Srebrenica”. Commissioner Hahn said at the opening ceremony:

“The genocide of Srebrenica scarred not only South East Europe, but Europe as a whole. It left innumerable deep wounds. It imposes the moral obligation on us all never to forget.”

The exhibition displays the faces of 40 women from Srebrenica, who lost their loved ones in the massacre occurred in July 1995. Each portrait by photographer Sead Husic invites visitors to honour the victims, dedicating a moment of silence and respect, through the eyes of those who survived and some of whom remained in Srebrenica.

The objective of the exhibition is also to remark the idea that reconciliation remains a fundamental objective of the EU engagement in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as in the entire Western Balkan region. In this regard, Commissioner Hahn emphasised the following:

“What matters now is to rebuild the trust between the peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the whole region. I therefore wish that this anniversary, which is primarily about remembering the victims of the genocide, will at the same time act as an impetus for broader reconciliation. “ 

Reconciling societies at the local, national and regional level passes also through processing war crimes. In order to support such a crucial endeavour and effectively bringing all war criminals to justice, for the past two decades the EU has supported a number of initiatives, including the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Several activities have also been carried out to strengthen the overall capacities of courts and prosecutors’ offices throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina in handling the domestic war crimes backlog, as well as to consolidate their capacities related to witnesses care, protection and support.

A group of Civil Society Organisations from Bosnia and Herzegovina engaged in human rights issues and working to help the victims of the genocide took part in the opening ceremony, in the context of the “People to People” programme financed by the Civil Society Facility.

The exhibition will be displayed at the Berlaymont building of the European Commission throughout 1-24 July 2015.

Read Commissioner Hahn’s opening speech here.