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Reporting from the Future

by Jon Lee Anderson

I was immediately taken with the idea of the WARM “Reporting from the Future” project when Damir explained it to me in a call, and invited me to come. In all the years I’ve been a reporter and covered conflicts, I had never heard of a project like this. Here, people, reporters, and others involved in observing and trying to chronicle and make sense of a conflict in their own country, were invited to the post-war reality in another country that is still grappling with the aftermath of its own conflict–that country being Bosnia.

The idea that Ukrainians could be taken to a place where some semblance of what may be their future–a negotiated end to their conflict–could be seen firsthand, along with both the problems and benefits of peacetime, seemed extraordinarily unusual, very original, and exciting. I agreed to come because I think anyone who has covered war and conflict realizes that the after-war is everything.

Wars are terrible, and the killing time is awful–it’s the ultimate human tragedy. But how those wars end and how the societies affected by them, whether they’re civil wars, regional wars, or foreign wars, deal with the aftereffects of what’s happened is key to the mental health and future life of that country. This project has been great, insightful, meaningful, and thought-provoking for everyone involved. I think it’s the kind of initiative that should be done much more regularly everywhere, including in countries where the conflicts are long past.