Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics

Video: Post-War Machismo — Be a Man

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At 15, Dragan Kisin was beating up kids, drinking, and getting in all sorts of trouble. His father had left home to avoid gambling debts, and his mother was in despair. Then Dragan joined the Be a Man club in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Banja Luka. He is now a community leader and non-violence advocate.

A delicate balance of Muslims, Serbs and Croats, Bosnia was torn apart as federal Yugoslavia dissolved. Up to 100,000 people were killed in the 1992-1995 war and an estimated 35,000 women were raped.

Recognizing that the widespread sexual violence perpetrated in the war had given rise to a culture of violence and bullying among youth, the Be a Man club brings young men and women together to fight stereotypes and become role models for their peers.

Be a Man is part of CARE International’s Young Men Initiative in the Balkans. The program, aimed at boys between 13 and 19, was set up to promote gender equality and non-violent relationships in a region still struggling with the legacy of war.

Their partner in Banja Luka, Perpetuum Mobile: Institute for Youth and Community Development, has been working with young people in the community for the past ten years.

This short documentary was produced by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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Bodies of people killed in April 1993 around Vitez, Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the Bosnian conflict. Twenty years after the war, the region is still traumatized by the legacy of violence.

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dragan

Dragan Kisin 

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