Materials: Flipchart paper, markers
The participants split into small groups based on nationality: Albanians, Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks, Macedonians, etc. Each group should make a list of the national heroes of their community (irrespective of whether they personally see them as heroes or not). After they are done, each group reads out “their” heroes. Do not allow discussion to start before all the groups have presented their lists of heroes. Clarifications should only be allowed for lesser-known names. This is followed by discussion in the plenary.
Discussion in the plenary
Suggested questions for the discussion:
- What observations do you have on your own list and those of the other groups?
- How do you feel about the listed names? To what extent are they also your personal “heroes”?
- Is there a pattern for how people become national heroes in our region?
- How are these heroes related to the way our societies relate to the past?
- Why are there so few women on these lists?
This exercise provides an insight into what our societies value. This exercise can also be used for the topic National Identity.