Belgrade, June 26, 2023.
Miljenko Dereta Space, Dobračina 55
Women’s Court - a space for women's testimonies on their experiences of injustice suffered during the war and in peace - instead of objects of injustice and violence, women become subjects of justice.
Women’s Court – feminist approach to justice – makes visible the continuity of injustice and violence against women, both in war and in peace, both in the private and in the public spheres; discloses the intertwining and interconnectedness of all forms of violence (gender based violence, ethnic violence, socio-economic, militaristic, political, etc.) and its impact on women; makes visible the continuous resistance of women to war, sexism, militarism, nationalism.
The first Women's Court in Europe was held in Sarajevo from May 7 to 10, 2015, and was organized by 10 women’s groups from ex-Yugoslavia.
The final event of the Women's Court - feminist approach to justice held in Sarajevo (May 2015) encouraged the development of new models of justice from a feminist perspective. It is an act of taking responsibility for the huge burden of the recent past, the crimes committed against the civilian population, primarily women. The consequences of those crimes on the everyday life of women are, even after more than thirty years, omnipresent - on an emotional, economic-social, political, cultural level.
Women’s Court – feminist approach to justice: Foča case
During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995), Foča was a place of systematic sexual violence and rape. Thanks to the courage of women from Foča and from all over BiH, the path was paved for women all over the planet in the fight for the punishment of the war crime of rape. Based on Foča case, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia stated that sexual slavery is to be considered a crime against humanity.
Nevertheless, despite this historically significant verdict, some of the sexual crimes against women and men of Foča, unfortunately, have not been disclosed or acknowledged, but have been silenced and forgotten... That is why we want to continue, together with the women and men from Foča, to demand justice for victims of sexual crimes in Foča and beyond.
On June 26, 2023 - Women in Black and Autonomous Women’s Center, Belgrade in cooperation with Horizonti, Tuzla, and with support of: Center for women and peace education – Anima, Kotor, Center for women victims of war, Zagreb, CURE Foundation, Sarajevo; artistic-activist collectives: Škart, Dah theater, Miljenko Dereta Space, Belgrade and Art clinic, Novi Sad organized Women’s Court – Foča case.
Women's Court – Foča case was opened with the welcoming words of Staša Zajović, Women in Black, Belgrade/Serbia and Šejla Kamerić, artist, Sarajevo/Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The exhibition “We remember the crimes – Foča case” was presented by Dragan Protić Prota, Škart and Goran Lazin, Women in Black, Belgrade/Serbia.
Testimonies were given by:
Ilvana Konjo, Foča/Sarajevo
Kemalemir Frašto, Foča/USA
Zenija Hajdarević, Foča/Sarajevo
Halida Konjo Uzunović, Foča/Sarajevo
The context analysis on the testimonies was provided by Women’s Court associates:
Sonja Biserko, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Belgrade
Edina Bećirović, professor of Security Studies, University of Sarajevo
Marijana Senjak, feminist therapist of Women’s Court, Zagreb
Sanja Pavlović, Autonomous Women’s Center, Belgrade and Mina Damnjanović, Women in Black, Belgrade/Berlin
Women’s Court – Foča case ended with a performance “Terra” – part of the Dah theater play (directed by Jadranka Anđelić), Belgrade.
This event was attended by approximately seventy persons from the whole region, as well as from European and other countries:
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo, Foča, Tuzla, Srebrenica, Zvornik (Đulići, Klisa), Bratunac
Montenegro: Kotor, Herceg Novi, Pljevlja
Croatia: Zagreb, Novska, Pakrac
Serbia: Beograd, Leskovac, Vlasotince, Kruševac, Kraljevo, Pančevo, Prijepolje, Novi Sad
We are sending part of the preparatory documents for Women’s Court – Foča case:
We will keep you informed on the activities that are taking place after the Womens’ Court – Foča case (book on testimonies, documentary movie etc.)
Women in Black and Autonomous Women’s Center, Belgrade