Home Institution

Villanova University

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Program Name

Serbia, Bosnia, and Kosovo: Peace and Conflict Studies in the Balkans


In 2008, a group of queer activists in Sarajevo organized the Sarajevo Queer Festival in an attempt to raise the visibility of queer people in Sarajevo, but the event resulted in a violent attack on the queer community. Since 2008, the actors and tactics of activists have changed, moving from the single, more radical, Organization Q, to the emergence of more groups with a more moderate approach. My research poses the question how have the tactics of queer activists in Sarajevo changed since the attack on the Sarajevo Queer Festival and the passage of the 2009 anti-discrimination law. Through semi-structured interviews and observational study of queer-friendly spaces and activist events, I conclude that activist tactics have taken a more moderate approach that has resulted in legal protection, but has not yet built a strong community amongst queer people in Sarajevo. These changes lead me to analyze current challenges in queer activism and the trajectory of practices.


Community-Based Research | Eastern European Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Politics and Social Change