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EACEA National Policies Platform
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

8. Creativity and Culture

8.5 Developing cultural and creative competences

Last update: 22 February 2024

In the Strategic Framework for BiH in 2015, the BiH Council of Ministers emphasizes the extreme importance of creative industries and states that: "Creative industries are becoming an increasingly important component of the development of a modern post-industrial economy, based on innovation and knowledge." The reasons for encouraging the development of such industries lie in the proven economic growth and development, and the creation of jobs, but also in the promotion of cultural identity and highlighting cultural diversity around the world. During the past decade, the EU recognized this fact and started developing and promoting these special industries. In those moments, the sector, which was always on the margins, received enough attention from researchers and governing bodies, and became the main topic of research, analysis and statistics in order to better understand the relationship between culture, creative industries and economic development, in order to be able to use the potential of the newly discovered industry as successfully as possible. In BiH, it is necessary to develop this sector and focus efforts on defining its potential, in order to influence the economic growth and development of the country."

Acquiring cultural and creative competences through education and training

Artistic expression and creation in the context of different pedagogical conceptions of upbringing and education is considered an essential component of the influence on personality development. An insight into the contemporary national curricula of different countries shows that they all encourage artistic awareness, while we believe that this is not the case in BiH.

When it comes to cultural and artistic formal education and the development of creative potential, young people throughout the country can achieve them through secondary and higher public and private education. In BiH, there are 185 secondary schools, eight academies within the state education system and universities, and four academies and faculties within private universities.

When it comes to the informal sector and youth work, young people in BiH can improve themselves culturally and benefit from long-term projects and initiatives aimed at easier access to cultural institutions and the cultural environment. Through such projects and initiatives, their active participation in cultural events is encouraged.

One of such projects is the European Youth Card (EYC), which has been implemented by the PRONI Center for Youth Development  since 2019 as the only accredited organization for the implementation of this program in BiH. Through this project, which offers the possibility of formal, informal, professional affirmation and training of young people, encouraging mobility and networking, young people are also offered various benefits based on which they can be directly involved in the cultural and every other segment of society's development. Based on these benefits, young people can consume and enjoy different cultural contents in different cultural public institutions, which were unavailable to them until the beginning of the project implementation. It is intended for young people from 15 to 30 years of age. The benefits of the program, except in BiH, are used in other participating countries (37 European countries), which encourages both national and international cultural upgrading.

Creative Europe is a program of the European Commission to support culture and the audiovisual sector. Building on the previous Creative Europe program , the program will also support the European cultural and creative sector in the period 2021-2027. The program follows the structure of the previous program and includes three subprograms:

  • Culture subprogram includes the cultural and creative sectors, except for the audiovisual sector;

  • MEDIA subprogram includes the audiovisual sector;

  • Cross-sectoral subprogram includes activities in all cultural and creative sectors.

The budget of the Creative Europe program2021-2027 is 2.44 billion euros, and in the previous period (2014-2020) 1.47 billion euros were available. The Creative Europe program invests in actions that strengthen cultural diversity and respond to the needs and challenges of the cultural and creative sectors.

The Art Remains project is a program intended for young people, high school students, and it is implemented by the Youth Advisory Committee at the Embassy of Switzerland in BiH , the PRONI Center for Youth Development and the JU Center for Culture and Youth of the Municipality of Centar Sarajevo, with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in BiH. The project is implemented in ten different municipalities/cities in BiH: Sarajevo, Kiseljak, Bihac, Prozor, Banja Luka, BD BiH, Foca, Gradacac, Pale and Srebrenik. Through this project, over 100 young people have the opportunity to learn more about stage and film art during one-day trainings. The goal of the project is to point out the problem of young people leaving BiH, and art and creativity were taken as the main resource and method of presenting that problem. Those 100 young people will find themselves in the main roles of the final product - movie entitled "Where you goin'?". This project is the first of its kind in BiH.

Specialised training for professionals in the education, culture and youth fields

In BiH, there are no trainings directly organized or financed by the highest-level authorities, which are available to teachers/teachers/professors in formal education, youth workers, as well as professionals (artists, managers of cultural institutions, curators) and young people. Such trainings are usually financed through projects of international and non-governmental organizations, and from the inflow of international capital through the work of embassies.

The latest published call comes from the Department for Economic Development, Culture, and Sports of the BD BiH Government. It pertains to the implementation of training for associations in the fields of sports and culture.

Providing quality access to creative environments

At the state level, incentives related to the improvement of the cultural sector, intended for museums, libraries, cinemas, galleries, theaters, cultural centers, centers of culture, archives, orchestras, philharmonics, institutes for the protection of cultural heritage, academies of science and art, art and music academies, performing arts academies , amateur theaters, choirs, culture festivals come through Co-financing of Cultural Projects in BiH in 2022 (Official Gazette of BiH, No. 56/22) published by the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs. Grants do not directly mention young people but considering that young people are an integral part of the mentioned applicants, it can be said that in this way the opportunity and support for projects that can specifically relate to young people is provided.

At the FBiH level, the FBiH Ministry of Culture and Sports has developed a public call the Transfer for Youth 2022, which, among other things, emphasizes the contribution to improving the position and affirmation of youth in FBiH as one of the general criteria.

When it comes to RS, the competent institutions through the financing of projects of cultural institutions and the Program of Co-financing of Public Needs in Culture in RS announced in 2019 calls for cultural heritage and cultural and artistic amateurism, cultural creativity of national minorities, and music and musical and performing arts. No more information about these calls is available online. In 2023, a Public call for co-financing programs and projects in RS for 2023 was once again announced.

In BD BiH, there are also programs for providing support to cultural institutions, non-profit organizations and associations that promote culture. Although these programs may not explicitly specify the cultural category, they allow for support to projects promoting culture if they meet the established criteria. One such program has been announced by the Government of BD BiH under the title Public Call for Financing and Co-financing Projects of Public Interest.

Facilitating quality access to creative environments and implementing programs in which creative ideas and young talents are developed are usually the responsibility of institutions at the lowest tiers of government, which are financed from the budget of the founding institution/city/municipality. Some of these programs are:

  • International theater festival "TKT Fest - Days of Academic Theater" in Tuzla, which affirms theater artists and students of academies from BiH, the region and Europe.

  • An international competition for students and music students that affirms the young musical talents of BiH and the region.

  • Sarajevo International Guitar Festival, which aims to enrich the cultural scene through the presentation of top classical guitar artists from the country and the world. Part of the April Sarajevo program is dedicated to young artists through competitive programs and workshops.

  • International festival of amateur theater where young theater creators can present themselves.

  • West Herzegovina Fest, which strives to encourage young creatives and authors to create, and by presenting their works, encourages others to do the same.

  • Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) as the most popular and largest film festival in the region, shows the best films from domestic, international independent and commercial production; Presents feature, short, documentary and children's films; It awards the Heart of Sarajevo award for the best achievements in the region; It organizes Talent Campus for young people, accompanying cultural programs, workshops for young critics, film production and Cine Link co-production market for script development.

  • The event "Novosarajevo Literary Meetings" as an international event promotes the literary creativity of young authors from BiH and the region.

  • The International Theater Festival of Author's Poetics is a review of the best performances of the world's youth theaters under the name Alternative Academy

  • International festival "Student Summer" Maglaj - The "Student Summer" festival is intended for young and unestablished singers.

  • The international festival of high school drama creation "Juventafest" was created in 2013 with the intention of offering quality cultural content intended for a young audience. During the five days of the festival, participants get to know different theater models through socializing and work and attend a series of workshops in the field of stage movement, dance, mask, puppetry and music led by experts, specialized in certain fields.

  • European Theater Night in Zenica is an event with an emphasis on student and dramatic creativity.

  • Sijelo in Paklarevo aims to pass on the old customs of BiH to the young generations through original dance, song and speech, which will act in a culturally educational sense.

  • Festival of youth theaters of RS intended for showing and awarding plays starring young people, which proved to be the best during the year.

  • International poetry festival for children and young people in East Sarajevo.