On Decembre 5th we organized a seminar in Croatia, where we wanted to gather members of the press and local policy makers. The topic of the seminar was minorities in media, the mere situation of that issue and the relations of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

I believe that working on any project, it is good to include members of local community, so this is how we started to organize the whole thing, after our starting ideas we discussed even in Granada, at the kick off meeting. When we returned back home to Croatia, we had some idea about people who we could invite. We wanted most of the people who had experience in field work, who dealt with the issues as their day job. I happened to know a journalist from Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, who works for major minority weekly newspaper, Novosti, and who we agreed to call as a speaker. As it happens, she and her colleague were just finishing a big research on hate speech toward Serbian minority in Croatia in five major Croatian newspapers and Internet web sites. Like that, we had one speaker for the seminar. Tamara said yes, and I was really excited to hear what she had to say.

Bruno Curko (see photo above) and I also agreed that we will present the project and our meeting in Granada, which was really helpful for us and for the understanding what the project was really about. However, we did not want to take the whole thing over so we deceided to give enough space to the participants to express their experiences. I contaced Entrepreneurial-development Centre in Erdut Municipality, where the seminar would be held, as I worked many times before with them. They were so kind to help us get to the Mayor, and from that point our meetings with him were really helpful. Being of Serbian minority himself, the Mayor knew a lot of people who he recomended for us to call. Other mayors from neighbouring municipalities, both representatives of minorities and majority nation, ex mayors, county representatives and the like. The coordination was a really interesting task for me. I had to call all those people, present them with main ideas of SISUMMA, send bunch of e mails to them and to the members of the Press, getting every time different replies. As always, some people promised they will come and they did not, other came that we did not even heard of – but everyone was welcome and we believe everyone felt welcome.

The important thing is that organisation of such event requires many patient hours invested in careful planning, good coordination of people and resources provided by the project, and the mere will to do something for the local community, to be active and to contribute as a good example for the rest of the people who live in your area.

Zoran Kojcic