US artist unites divided Bosnian youths to make street art

AP News
Posted: Apr 21, 2015 10:24 AM
US artist unites divided Bosnian youths to make street art

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — American graffiti artist Caleb Neelon, creator of street murals in numerous cities around the world, has enlisted youths from different sides of Bosnia's ethnic divide to work on a peace-promoting project.

Armed with cans of spray paint, youngsters from Bosnia's Croat, Serb and Bosniak ethnic groups joined forces with Neelon on Tuesday to begin painting "peace murals" in their divided communities.

"If people see in what I do a message of peace, opportunity to do something that brings people together, that really touches my heart," Neelon said.

The project is meant to mark 20 years since the end of Bosnia's 1992-95 interethnic war that claimed 100,000 lives.

Despite two decades of peace, relations among members of the country's different groups are still dominated by suspicion and mistrust.

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The idea of Neelon's project was to encourage youths from all three groups to jointly produce peace-promoting street art.

The peace murals are to be painted over a two-week period in predominantly Bosniak capital of Sarajevo, its majority Serb suburbs, as well as in Croat-dominated southern city of Mostar.