Activism is back in style, say representatives of leading regional initiatives

Photo: Kristina Stedul Fabac/PIXSELL

Smart technology and social networks have paved the way for progress and changes in society, said the participants of the panel entitled “Activate change!”. Jelena Veljača, representative of the Spasi me initiative; Sandra Benčić from the We Can! political party; Vesna Blašković, founder of SOS Zagreb; and Asja Krsmanović, initiator of Nisam tražila; pointed out that the modern media world has enabled women to have their voices heard more widely.

“It is important to emphasize that activism is no longer reactive, but proactive. And the range and scope of communication offered by social networks have made a significant contribution in this regard. It’s a platform where real people, especially women, have the opportunity to tell their reality,” said Veljača, commenting on the importance of the Spasi me initiative and the fight against violence against women.

“Society perceives activism as a profession. An activist, however, is any person who contributes to certain social changes at the micro and macro level. Our primary task is to bring together—at least in Bosnia and Herzegovina—all groups and associations that aim to encourage positive social change and to enable better cooperation for the protection of women from violence,” said Asja Krsmanović.

Although acting with the goal of the common good is in itself something positive and expected from different communities of people and nations, it should be kept in mind that not every public call is an act of activism, nor is activism the wish and demand of a particular community.

“There are different aspects of activism. We can fight for something that is positive—which is good—but there is also activism that goes beyond the interests of a particular group and eventually becomes something that is not in the public interest at all, but rather the interest of that particular group only,” said Sandra Benčić.

The panelists concluded that the biggest enemies of activism are disinformation, lack of responsibility, and the particular interests of certain groups regarding freedom of speech. Freedom of choice must never endanger the rest of society, said the representatives of leading associations and movements.

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