Author/s:Kemal Barkarsic
PDF-file. Pagination as in the original proceeding.308-313.pdf
Title:Bosnia - War - Democracy - Information
Email: bakarsic@soros.org.ba
Homepage:http://www.soros.org.ba/~cuprija
Abstract:If one compares the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the time of its recognition as an independent state (March 1, 1992) to the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement (November 15, 1995), in terms of oppositions, focusing on the areas of life covered by the most commonly-used “buzz words”, the following list could be proposed:

• United Europe vs. fragmented Bosnia and Herzegovina;
• Free travel, mobility of people, goods, money vs. ghetto, siege and divided cities;
• Human rights, especially minority rights issues vs. genocide and ethnical cleansing;
• Information highways vs. total collapse of basic telecommunications infrastructure;
• Revival of multicultural vs. the killing of traditionally the only multicultural country in Europe;
• Democracy vs. War

A complete list of what has been tragically destroyed is almost impossible to compile. According to the World Bank estimates (from 1995), war damage totaled 27 to 29 billion $, causing a decrease in GNP from $ 1,500 per capita in 1991 to $ 330 in 1995 and an estimated $ 540 in1997.

This contribution will seek to be a case study and to describe specifics of the situation, war time developments, obstacles and steps needs to be taken in the areas of traditional media (newsprint and publishing), electronic media (radio, television), information highway Internet development, electronic publishing, and cultural heritage, focusing especially on libraries. These areas are closely related. We cannot discuss democracy without taking into account the means and communication channels that democratic development delivers and modifies. Being a trained librarian by profession, I hope that you will understand that traditionally the librarian‘s best friends are books. Paper, microfilmed, or digital, it makes no difference in terms of the cultural and educational background and backbone of the society.