Youth workshop series concludes in Sarajevo

Young Bosnians advocate for change as the Foundation’s initiative in Bosnia and Herzegovina comes to an end

The Max Planck Foundation’s work with young professionals and student activists in Bosnia and Herzegovina came to a close with a final event in Sarajevo on 26 November 2022. Participants from various parts of the country jointly presented Papirologija, a political-satirical board game designed to publicise the frustrations and inhibitions caused by slow-moving and complex bureaucracy, impeding national integration and perpetuating divides.

The presentation built on previous workshops where participants engaged in structured debate, discussing the challenges they faced jointly with legal experts and learning how to communicate their cause publicly and effectively. They were soon in agreement on the development of a board game that would highlight and satirise the daily struggles of those who venture beyond administrative boundaries in their pursuit of studies or work in other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In cooperation with researchers and experts, the participating students and young professionals developed a game that would problematise serious social and political issues in entertaining ways. At the final event, the participants presented their work to the press. The story was quickly picked up by various national news outlets and garnered comments from sympathetic members of the public.

Participants are now making television appearances with the board game in tow, calling for change to an administrative framework that discourages the mixing and mingling of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s younger generations. Time will tell whether their calls are heeded.

The proceedings were part of the project Strategic Approach to Future and Youth-Oriented Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.