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Children of War

Podcast – Children of the War in Serbia

Podcast – Children of the War in Serbia

How do children experience war? And how do they remember it once they are grown up? What do they associate with keywords such as father, toys, friends or sports? Could childish naivety be a blessing? Andjela and Milena from Belgrade, Serbia discussed everyday life and their experiences during the bombing of Belgrade in 1999, at the age of six and twelve years. Listen to their conversation and find out about two very personal stories reflecting the bombing.

While the 1990s were a period of peace, prosperity and unification for most of the European countries, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia went down in flames. The national(ist) leaders of what would become six or seven (and counting) new Balkan countries and the international forces drew borders over the back of common people who are still trying to mend the scars of these conflicts. The confrontations in Croatia and Bosnia officially stopped in 1995. Still many historians see the NATO bombing of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999 as the real epilogue of the Yugoslav wars.
The bombing itself left scars that are still visible on the landscape of Belgrade and on the minds of a whole generation. As the life went on during the war, joys, fears and sorrows intermingled in the spirits of kids and adolescents.
During the online project “Children of War” in Berlin in August 2015 Andjela Bolta and Milena Tatalović from Belgrade, Serbia discussed everyday life and their experiences during the bombing at the age of six and twelve years. Listen to their conversation and find out about two very personal stories reflecting the bombing of Belgrade in 1999.
What do they associate with keywords such as father, toys, friends or sports? Does the road to healing lead across the bridge of forgetting? And could childish naivety be a blessing?

Andjela Bolta and Milena Tatalović both were Serbian children during the Yugoslav War in 1999. Due to their age gap, Andjela Bolta was six and Milena Tatalović twelve years old, and the distinct areas they lived in, they experienced the war quite differently. Ruth Allgäuer leads through their touching stories in this podcast, making visible both similarities and differences of their war experiences.

Children of War in Europe was an online project with an integrated History Camp in Berlin, Germany. 20 participants from 14 European countries took part in the project, which focused on consequences of warfare on children as much as on the  fates of War Children in the post-conflict societies.
The project’s main objective was to research individual fates, to put their individual experiences in the context of different national discourses in Europe and to discuss what might be learnt from their biographies for today. Find out more about the projects results here

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Milena (1987) is a Eustorian from Serbia studying sociology. But her main interests are family history, ethnology, social interaction, and places where people gather like traditional pubs with historical background. She plans to travel a bit more and perfect the skill of traditional pastry making. She hopes to work for UNICEF one day.
Andjela was born 1992 in Serbia, Andjela is currently a philosophy student in University of Belgrade and also UNICEF volunteer. Her passion is karate which she practises since she was four. In her free time she likes traveling, meeting new people and cultures and playing piano.
Ruth was born in 1991 in Lustenau, Austria and is currently studying International Cultural and Business Studies in Passau, Germany. She loves travelling, getting to know new cultures, speaking foreign languages and meeting people from all over the world.

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