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Reconciliation in the Western Balkans Using Central European Experiences: Pioneering Project Explores Historical Narratives in CEE and SEE Regions

Updated: Jan 16

We are thrilled to announce a groundbreaking project by the Institute for Modern Development, titled "My Hero Your Enemy: Historical Narratives in National Identity Building in the CEE and SEE Region." The project is supported by the International Visegrad Fund, and builds on the work of the Institute for Modern Development from the past years on reconciliation in the Western Balkans, particularly its work on the Macedonian-Bulgarian disputes over identity and history. This initiative seeks to delve deep into the complexities of historical narratives and their profound impact on national identity formation within Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and South-Eastern Europe (SEE). Aimed at fostering constructive dialogue and mutual understanding, this project represents a significant step forward in bridging the gaps in historical perceptions and interpretations that have long influenced these regions.

The project encompasses a variety of dynamic activities designed to engage and enlighten. A key aspect involves launching an insightful social media campaign, utilizing powerful visuals and thought-provoking quotes to highlight the project's findings. Moreover, esteemed universities like the Metropolitan University Prague and IHSS (Skopje) will host guest lectures presenting these insights. The engagement doesn't stop there; the project also involves collaboration with NGOs and the utilization of journalist expertise to ensure broad outreach and stimulate pertinent discourse. These concerted efforts aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of the historical narratives shaping bilateral relations and regional contexts.

Event in Petrich focusing on reconciliation between Bulgaria and North Macedonia
Macedonia Bulgaria Reconciliation

Leading this ambitious project are Michal Vit and Ljupcho Petkovski from the Institute for Modern Development. Both Vit and Petkovski bring to the table a wealth of experience and deep involvement in related topics, significantly through an initiative previously implemented by the Czech Embassy in Skopje during 2022 and 2023. Their expert guidance and profound understanding of the historical and cultural dynamics at play are instrumental in steering this project towards its goal of fostering understanding and collaboration across the CEE and SEE regions.

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