The Dialogue Academy is organized under the auspices of the “Follow Us” Initiative, which brings together prominent women from Prishtinë/Priština and Belgrade and supports empowerment of young women from both societies through education and dialogue initiatives.

Lana Nikolić, Eroll Bilibani, Alba Jakupi, Anja Jokić, Gent Thaçi, Olivera Mitić and Marija Jovanović will share their personal experiences on the way forward towards the common ground and how much are our identities important to us and does the concept of togetherness deny them?

The speakers will provide examples of finding mutual empowerment in the mutual struggle and will explore possibilities to feel togetherness even with the physical distance, despite the pandemic environment.

Finally, after the presentations, Dialogue Academy alumnae will take the opportunity to launch an open call for submission of artworks, followed by selection process, award-giving ceremony for three best artworks and online exhibition.

The event is organized with the support of OSCE Mission in Kosovo.

About the speakers

Lana Nikolić is a philologist, journalist and activist dedicated to the issue of inclusion of young people in general, as well as young people from vulnerable groups. She is a scholar of the Institute for Digital Communications with the “Boris Trivan” scholarship, and the host of Radio Belgrade 202. She is the winner of the Exit Foundation “Youth Heroes”. Lana writes for “Oblakoder” and the “BBC” in Serbian, and she is researching the potential impact of various forms of activism, especially the digital. She was a mentor in two mentoring programmes, and as a mentor, Lana participated in the Creative Mentoring program. She believes that selfless knowledge transfer, hugs and conversations can change the world.

Eroll Bilibani is a photographer and film producer; he develops educational programmes in which cinema and storytelling are the means to a greater understanding of complex questions and the promotion of social development. Through DokuLab he curates educational film projects for youth, which are distributed via DokuFest’s Traveling Solar Cinema. He was the executive producer of Daniel Mulloy’s BAFTA winning short Home (2016) and a producer of Samir Karahoda’s short documentary In Between (2019) shown at Berlinale 2019 and is the 2020 EFA award candidate.

Alba Jakupi works as a Project Coordinator at Debate Center and FOL Movement. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the Faculty of Philosophy at University of Prishtina. Alba is a Scholar of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung as well as an alumna of the OSCE Dialogue Academy for Young Women. One of her strongest points is writing and she has published several research papers, at James Madison University, European University Institute and International Balkan’s University on different political matters concerning the Western Balkans. Alba is a feminist and youth advocate and works towards ending impunity and establish the rule of law in the context of democratic governance.

Anja Jokić is a Programme Assistant at the National Youth Council of Serbia (KOMS). She holds a B.A. in Political Sciences - International Relations and is currently a Master’s candidate at the Regional Maste’‘s Program in Peace Studies at Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade. During her studies, she attended a one-year programme in Women’s Studies, with a focus on the history of feminist movements, the representation of women in media, and gender-based violence. Anja is an alumna of the OSCE Dialogue Academy for Young Women and a recipient of the Scholarship for Peace and Security for 2019 awarded by the OSCE and UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). Through her engagement with the OSCE DA alumnae network, she worked on developing the “Academy of Language and Culture” project, a ten-day Albanian and Serbian language and culture programme, as well as taken a role of Mentor in the “Womentorship for Dialogue” programme, and helped organize public events on topics of gender-based violence, women in politics and youth participation. Currently, she is a part of the ‘Young Generations for the new Balkans 2030: Towards Alternative Horizons’- initiative run by International Institute for Peace which sets the spotlight on youth and, together with local and international partners, discusses and analyses the overall situation of the Western Balkans.

Gent Thaçi is a social activist from Prishtinë/Priština. He is actively connected with the local grass-root initiatives and he is a co-founder of Prishtina Hackerspace. Gent is currently a Community Organizer at Termokiss.

Olivera Mitić studies journalism at the Faculty of Media and Communications of the University of Singidunum and Dutch language, literature and culture at the Faculty of Philology of the University of Belgrade. She is an alumna of the fifth generation of the OSCE Dialogue Academy for Young Women. Olivera puts a great value on the importance of education, which is reflected not only in the different degrees she is pursuing, but also outside of academia. She is a yearlong Red Cross volunteer and has a passion for human rights, social issues and environmental activism. She enjoys working in the spheres of media and culture, with a particular interest in the current world literature scene and translation. She used to write for different media outlets aimed at young people and is still active in the field of youth politics. She is currently located in Belgrade.

Marija Jovanović is a 21-year-old youth leader and activist, born and raised in Medvedja. She is studying Dutch language, literature and culture at the University of Belgrade. Marija became interested in human rights ever since she was in high school. She loves debating current affairs including the intersectionality of girls’ and women’s rights around the world, LGBTQI+ discrimination, politics, and anthropological factors that affect climate change. Marija is passionate about advocating for the inclusion of female ethno-diverse voices in leadership and her activism is driven by her own personal experiences and family context. With her passion for creating an equitable world, she’s been active in organisations which are advocating better youth policies because as a young person, she sees the true potential that lies within the youngsters. Marija has a perfect opportunity to merge her passion for women rights and youth activism during the days of OSCE Dialogue Academy.