The book #ŽeneBiH is an artistic, activist and research initiative that is comprised of biographies of over 50 BiH women who have broken stereotypes and advocated women’s rights and emancipation. Each woman was illustrated by a different woman illustrator/designer/artist from BiH. This is a book about first female artists, writers, poets,  social workers, national heroines, directors, scientists, musicians, doctors, activists, professors, and other exceptional women from BiH.

We started this initiative wishing to contribute to the visibility of women in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to encourage similar educational initiatives.

This book celebrates women who decided to pursue education even when women were not allowed to do so, who were (and are) ambassadors of BiH art and culture in the world, the women who promoted women’s rights at a time when they did not even exist, women who gave their lives in the fight against fascism, women who have achieved worldwide fame in their respective fields of work, and those who were or are one of the greatest treasures of BiH.

Our work on this book is entirely voluntary, but in order to publish it, we needed financial means. In order to secure funds, we decided to use crowdfunding, a way of financing in which the community of people donates money for projects they want to support in advance. Before the beginning of the crowdfunding campaign we managed to gather 49% of the necessary funds for the book, thanks to personal financial investments of individuals, as well as the support of sponsors. By using crowdfunding we wanted to gather the remaining 51% of the necessary funds, in order to secure payment for the illustrators, the proofreader and other associates. The campaign started on September 12 2018, and gathered 100% of the necessary funds ($4.500) in less than 24 hours, also provoking great interest by the public and the media. Until the end of the campaign, on October 11 2018, we gathered 513% of the funds, or more specifically, $23.105. The campaign was supported by 561 people from 25 countries of the world.

We would like to thank everyone who decided to support the publication of the book #ŽeneBiH and we are overwhelmed that this idea mobilized such a large community. We are thankful for every message of support, for every nice word and all the help we received during this process.

The book was published and printed mid-February 2019, and its copies were sent out to all backers who reserved them during the crowdfunding campaign. We also sent copies to 80 public libraries in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so those who were not able to reserve their copies can find the book in their local library and read it.

You can continue to follow the work on the #ŽeneBiH initiative through our social media.

Authors of the book (from left to right): Masha Durkalić, Hatidža Gušić and Amila Hrustić Batovanja.

Photo: Imrana Kapetanović