Children and War: the Place of the War Past of the Parents in Their Children's Identity

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Date of webinar: 
15 Oct 2015
Start and finish time of webinar: 
11.00 CET
Kalina Yordanova
Aida Ganovic
Maja Alihodzic

Europe is now faced with the biggest refugee influx since the Second World War. Many of the refugees and migrants are going to settle in Europe and raise their children in the new European environment. How do children of war survivors make sense of their parents’ experience of war and persecution? By focusing on the Bosnian example, this webinar seeks to give insight into the second generation’s imagery of war and violence.


Kalina Yordanova is a psychoanalytically trained psychotherapist. She holds a PhD in Psychoanalysis and Anthropology from UCL, UK. Her doctoral project is on the topic of the transmission of traumatic experience across generations in the families of war survivors from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kalina Yordanova is currently working with ACET (Assistance Centre for Torture Survivors, Bulgaria) and Know-How Centre, NBU, Bulgaria. Kalina Yordanova has been the keynote speaker at various conferences and symposiums including UCL, UK, St. Andrews University, UK, University of Cardiff, UK, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, University of Regensburg, Germany.

Aida Ganovic is a counsellor and psychotherapist (Reality Therapy).  Since 2003 she has been involved in "Choice theory and reality therapy", worked as a basic and advanced supervisor in EART, Board member for the Association for Reality Therapy B&H. Before joining the "Choice theory and Reality Therapy", she had completed a three years training in "The Philosophy and methods of Psychodrama". For ten years she has been working in psychosocial counselling centre with clients who had war caused consequences in their daily life (children and adults). At the moment she is working in SOS Kinderdorf International, representative office in B&H,  and is responsible for Child Protection Policy implementation in SOS KDI B&H.  

Maja Alihodzic is a counselor and a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy practitioner. She holds a MA degree in Psychology and is undergoing training in EMDR. Currently she is working at the non-profit organization ''Foundation Wings of Hope'', Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose primary goal is child's empowerment. The organization is providing psycho-social support to children and young people and is actively involved in the promotion and protection of human rights, mental health and support in education. Apart from providing psycho-social counseling for children and young people with behavioural and emotional difficulties, Maja Alihodzic works with traumatized adults and is a Project Assistant of the ''Children of war to children of peace'' project. The project is part of the ''Dialogue for the future'' initiative of the UN agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina and aims at trust-building and intercultural understanding.

The drawing of a 6 year old girl from Sarajevo (2012) represents Yugoslavia being cut into pieces. Why does the image resemble a map seen from distance? The nature of modern war, characterized by a large-scale destruction, anonymity and fragmentation of territories and identities, shapes children’s imagery of war by excluding the human actors at the expense of politics and technology. Second, by avoiding the human presence and the full colour scale, children are sparing the insight into the question: ‘What becomes of people during warfare?’

You can find the recordings of the webinar HERE.





Series this is part of: 

This project is funded by: