Jelena Silajdžić (*1954), Bosnia and Herzegovina / Czech Republic
Contribution to the dialogue of national culture
Jelena Silajdžić was born in Sarajevo, where she studied journalism, but later started working in film production. Under her supervision, more than 20 feature films, 150 documentaries and 6 series were produced in the Forum Company. Because of war in the former Yugoslavia, she moved with her family to the Czech Republic, where since then she has been dedicated to the support of cultural activities and protection of human rights. In 1999, together with her husband Džemil Silajdžić established civic association SLOVO 21 that organizes numerous projects supporting the integration of Romani people and foreigners in the Czech Republic. We are going a long way, Family Next Door or EQUAL Support of Romani people in Prague. Its most important project is the World Gypsy Festival Khamoro established in 1999 and last year the festival received a prestigious EFFE Label as one of the 24 best European artistic festivals for 2019-2020. So far, around 150.000 people have visited it. Other projects are “Dža Dureder” the education of Romani pupils and students, “Family Next Door” supporting communication among Czechs and foreigners living in the Czech Republic or adaptation-integration courses “Welcome to the Czech Republic”, etc. In 2000, Jelena Silajdžić received the Nansen Medal for Europe presented by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in the occasion of its 50th anniversary as recognition for extraordinary help to refugees, displaced or stateless people.