The cooperative Insieme was founded in 2003 in Bratunac, on the western shore of the Drina, on the border between Bosnia Herzegovina and Serbia, a few kilometers away from Srebrenica.
Since the beginning of April, 1992, after Yugoslavia collapsing, Bosnia-Herzegovina has suffered a bloody war of aggression finished in November 1995. More than one hundred thousand dead, thousands of disperses, over two million refugees, destroyed economy and infrastructures. The conflict brought a deep change in the demographic structure of the population as a result of “ethnic cleansing” operations.
During the conflict, Bratunac area is theater of hard clashes. Many families were sheltered in the town of Srebrenica, Muslim majority enclave in a Serb-orthodox majority territory, that had been declared protected area by the United Nations. On July 11th 1995, the Serb-Bosnian army violates the protected area, enters the city and commits a systematic massacre of the Muslim men, included the younger and elderly ones. Survived women and children move to refugee camps. The slaughter is of unheard of dimensions, the esteemed victims are more than eight thousand. It is the first recognized genocide in Europe after the second world war.
Mario Boccia, photo-journalist that followed and documented the conflict in the balkans since the beginning, is tied up from a deep friendship and solidale with Rada and Skender, president and director of the cooperative that picks up and works berries in order to make juices and jams. The harvest take place in summer, in the surroundings of Bratunac and in the central region of Bosnia, from which the wild blueberries for organic products originate. Many would say that the partners of the cooperative, by now more than 500, mostly women, come from different “ethnic groups”. They refuse this distinction. They work side by side united by the will of staying in their common land. They rebuild a present together, in spite of a past wishing them divided. Their example seems to shout to Bosnia-Herzegovina and to whole Europe: if it can be done here, it will be possible anywhere.