About this Platform

During the winter of 2011/2 several of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s most renowned cultural institutions closed their doors to the public or are expected to soon follow suit. The cause: the failure of the country’s complex administrative apparatus to ensure operations through the design of adequate funding mechanisms. The painful result is that now the most important collections of cultural artifacts from Bosnia-Herzegovina’s past and present, prominently including those of the Regional Museum (Zemaljski Muzej BH) and the Art Gallery (Umjetnička Galerija BH), are finally invisible to locals and visitors alike, and that the National and University Library (Nacionalna i Univerzitetska Biblioteka BH) will serve neither the University community nor the public.

CULTURESHUTDOWN.NET is an initiative undertaken in response to this intolerable impasse. It intends to contribute to resolve it through the cultivation of a debate on the place and mission of cultural institutions in the life of the country on the theoretical as well as practical levels. Unconnected to a government or political party, this initiative intends to raise worldwide awareness about the problem though a variety of instruments and media, ranging from the provision of real-time information, and historical and theoretical contextualization, to art projects and the drafting of cultural policy recommendations. It seeks not to monopolize or dominate this debate but to provide an international platform for addressing this crisis in Bosnia’s cultural heritage, and by displaying a variety of projects that represent a wide spectrum of ideas and opinions.

The Platform CULTURESHUTDOWN.NET was founded in January 2012 as the initiative of Azra Akšamija and Maximilian Hartmuth, joined by a group of acedemicians, artists, librarians and other cultural activists living in Bosnia-Herzegovina and other countries in the Balkans, United States, Canada, Austria and other European countries. We are a global volunteer, non-profit network of scientists and cultural producers, not connected to any governmental institution, or a political party. As an open civic platform, we are welcoming contributions from authors of any ethnic, national, religious background or professional affiliation. Our ultimate aim is to unite on the global level to help prevent destruction of cultural heritage that belongs to all the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and enriches World heritage. Click here to find out more about us and the contributors and supporters of this platform.

Our Objectives:

  1. To MAP STATUS QUO / PROVIDE INFORMATION to both local and global audience about the critical condition of cultural institutions in Bosnia-Herzegovina
  2. To RAISE AWARENESS about the structural, political, and economic problems behind the problem of cultural shutdown, showing how the ethnic conflict continues to take place in post-Dayton Bosnia-Herzegovina within the cultural sphere
  3. To EXPRESS PROTEST against the retardation caused by stubborn ethnopolitics
  4. To provide RESOURCES / TOOLS that can be useful for cultural producers (in Bosnia-Herzegovina and worldwide) by learning about/from relevant case studies in different places
  5. To CONNECT PEOPLE (cultural producers, policy makers, activists, etc.) respecting their diverse religious/ethnic/national affiliations and based on their common aspiration for a peaceful and constructive coexistence, and thus encourage creation of a healthier civil society in the region
  6. To INSPIRE NEW VISIONS for the future of coexistence in Bosnia-Herzegovina though pro-active visionary proposals and projects

The views expressed in different posts published on this website reflect ideas and opinions of their individual authors. CULTURESHUTDOWN.NET merely regards itself as a platform to share, moderate and discuss them.

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