ManipuNation team is consisted of 10 individuals, nine of which are university students (last year of pregraduate or graduate degree) and Adis Maksić, professor at International Burch University, Department of International Relations and European Studies. Our team is also consisted of two HIA alumni Vanna Ćurin, EDVACAY 2019/20 previously active in alumni projects and Lejla Dautbašić, EDVACAY 2020/2021, as well as current fellow of EDVACAY 2021/22, Neven Rokvić. Together we attempt to deconstruct the malign narratives circulating around Bosnian and Herzegovinian politics, shaping an unhealthy political culture and drawing attention away from basic democratic principles and foundations of socio-economic growth and development.
The majority of BiH citizens understand that political parties and leaders are most responsible for the difficult life and mass departure from the country. Members of all nations often call out political elites for crime, indolence and incompetence, realizing that they use nationalism, fear, animosity and other emotions to continue robbing the common man. Despite this, the manipulations continue to produce results, and in the pre-election period, when citizens have the opportunity to punish or reward the powerful, awareness of them seems to disappear.
ManipuNation was created in order to recognize false topics and to remind the public that the painful national and identity topics that are talked about often serve nothing else than to divert attention from the real problems in the country.
According to all relevant parameters, Bosnia and Herzegovina is among the worst ranked countries in Europe. In the past period, we witnessed a lot of scandals that briefly attracted a lot of public attention, and then slowly faded from memory. Today, in the pre-election period, nationalist fights are common, and few people talk about affairs in which the powerful have shown that they are ready to endanger the bare lives of the citizens they represent for personal gain. Elites know this and
ManipuNation brings together professors and students from Sarajevo universities who deal with Critical Discourse Analysis, an increasingly popular scientific field in the world that analyzes how rhetoric, stories and subverted themes shape the political consciousness of citizens. We decided to use our time and knowledge in order to share with citizens our knowledge and conclusions about manipulations that concern us all. We are not activists of any party, nor does our work advocate any political option. Instead, we ask all parties vying for votes to focus their debates on the issues most relevant to the everyday life of the common man. Topics dealing with the creation of new jobs, better working conditions and the rule of law in which the law applies equally to everyone.
This does not diminish the importance of the future organization of the state, nor the importance of intangible values in human life. We are aware that in BiH the majority of the population carries deep wounds and sufferings from the 1990s and that they are inevitably part of political attitudes and aspirations. We also recognize that constant discussions, transfers and fights about suffering do not lead to justice, but to the manipulation of citizens’ pain by those in power. The past quarter of a century of post-Dayton BiH has shown that discussions about the past cannot lead to a common narrative, while the future structure of the country depends to a large extent on the relations of the great powers. On the other hand, the economy and the rule of law depend on and are in the firm hands of local politicians. Neither foreigners nor other ethnic groups or entities are to blame for crime and poverty. That’s why we ask that, instead of spreading fear and fantasizing about unrealized war fantasies, the parties compete in ideas about fiscal policy, prosecutorial reform, ways to stimulate investments, and other issues related to the economy and the rule of law.