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LSN-Bosnia-Herzegovina Hosts the Fourth Annual Exhibition of Survivors’ Art
LSN-Bosnia-Herzegovina sponsored the fourth annual Exhibition of Survivors’ Art/Artisan Work from April 18 through April 21, 2006 in Sarajevo. The Exhibition brought together landmine survivors and amputees from different regions of Bosnia-Herzegovina who have benefited from LSN direct assistance and are engaged in artistic, artisan and handicraft work. There were a total of 29 landmine survivors and amputees who participated in the Exhibition, showcasing their work which ranged from paintings, sculptures, woodwork, and metalwork, as well as other mediums. More than one third of the exhibits were sold during the first day of the Exhibition.

The event was organized with support from the Canadian Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose input and cooperation helped to raise the profile of the event. In addition to the exhibitors and their guests, attendees included representatives from the United States, Croatian, Slovenian and Canadian Embassies in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the State Minister for Civil Affairs, members of the Bosnian Parliament, and representatives from Handicap International and the International Committee for the Red Cross. Media from the regions most widely viewed news organizations attended the opening on April 18th. Opening speeches were given by the Canadian Ambassador, the State Minister for Civil Affairs and LSN-Bosnia-Herzegovina Director, Plamenko Priganica.

The primary goal of the Exhibition was to raise awareness and promote the abilities and capacity of survivors and people with disabilities as active, creative and productive members of society. The Exhibition also serves to promote and support economic independence of survivors and people with disabilities, through the marketing and sale of their work. For three of the survivor participants, revenue from the sale of their art work is their primary source of income. One of the survivors, Adnan Badzak, owns a small shop in the old town of Mostar where he sells his copper engraved art work.

The Exhibition not only provides survivors with a forum to express their skills and talents; it also offers them the opportunity to spend time with their peers from different parts of country and to articulate issues that they, and all people with disabilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, face. All of the participants agreed that this type of event helps them to build self-esteem, to develop new friendships and to make positive changes in the general public’s perception of people with disabilities. Miodrag Maksimovic, a survivor from Bijeljina who received LSN assistance in buying tools for his carpentry business, said "…this is another testimony that LSN's unique peer support approach can only bring success and motivate survivors to become more engaged in promotion of their work.”

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