Nerkez Opacin


Storytelling and narrative are methods for dealing with and learning from the past as part of peacebuilding education initiatives (PEIs) operating in southeast Europe, predominantly in Bosnia and Herzegovina. To date, Bosnia faces little advancement in the process of reconciliation and interethnic social healing. There is an entrenched divide along ethnic lines, with each ethnicity having separate narrative(s) and educational programs, providing youth with little space to meet and learn about the past and “the ethnic other.” As a result, many NGOs have started running PEIs that use experiential learning approaches for adolescents while creating safe spaces where they can meet and learn from, with, and about one another. Based on a multisited ethnography conducted in the region, this article addresses various aspects and effects storytelling and narrative have on the program development at large and the participants in particular. It aims to shed some light on important storytelling features necessary to be addressed when learning about the past, each other, and ourselves in postconflict settings.