On Friday, May 21st, 2021, the Outdoor Youth Center started working and a large number of young people gathered. They had the opportunity to listen to and watch the performance of the young and talented poet Dragana Nikolic, with the musical accompaniment of Mirko Kovacevic, Slavisa Kondija and Milica Nikolic. It was also the first public live performance after a long period of time, due to measures caused by the COVID-19 virus. The performance was accompanied with enthusiasm from not only all the young people present but also from our older fellow citizens. It was the beginning of a new story of young people that will continue in the coming weeks and months.

We would have to go back a couple of months to explain what the Outdoor Youth Center is and how it came about. The initiative of the Youth Open Center was created as part of the project “Youth activism against extremism in Prijedor” organized by “Perpetuum Mobile – Institute for Youth and Community Development”. This seminar was attended by a group of young people who strive both to bring youth from Kozarska Dubica to contribute to culture and to create a place where youth creativity will be welcome and where all fellow citizens will be able to contribute to the rise of cultural activities.

Very often the question arises as to what young people want to achieve in culture? We can conclude that access is often endangered for various reasons, most often due to lack of money. In addition, apathy in the society we live in results in great disinterest in young people. Current cultural offers are inadequate and do not meet the real needs of today’s youth.

What is the goal and action plan for the next period?

Our goal is to wake up our sleeping city, break the grayness of everyday life and restore the city spirit that we lack, as well as bring a smile to the faces of all our fellow citizens. Therefore, our plan is to organize the following activities: concerts with music from the 70’s and 80’s that belongs to the EX-YU Rock scene, literary and poetry evenings, theater performances and open-air cinemas. Additionally, we want diversity and abundant offers to attract and encourage young people to participate through other activities. The plan is for all activities to last until September 1st, 2021, at a frequency of at least twice a week.

The project is supported by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Resilience Initiative (BHRI) program and implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Financial support was provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).