Schools in Scotland will be the first to take part in a new theatre in education programme about the Bosnian genocide this week (w/c 18 Sept).

Inseparable: Lessons from a nation divided’ is a powerful piece set in the modern day, which explores adult themes of war crimes and violence through the eyes of three teenagers. 

It was commissioned by Remembering Srebrenica Scotland, a charity dedicated to education about the Bosnian genocide and the events that led to the killing of more than 8,000 men and boys in the town of Srebrenica in July 1995. 

By telling survivor stories, the piece aims to promote community cohesion and tolerance in Scotland, and beyond.

It includes real life testimony from child survivors of the war which was provided to the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo. Children from Scotland volunteered to read the translations of testimony, which tells the horrors of what it is like to grow up in a warzone. 

‘Inseparable’ is funded by The Gordon Cook Foundation and is free for schools in Scotland to access and includes workshops and learning resources for teachers. It will have its first run in West Lothian, Dunfermline, Callander, Falkirk, and Edinburgh.

Written and produced by award-winning theatre-in-education specialists, Collingwood Learning, the production also captures the lived experiences of people who survived the Bosnian war and now live in Scotland. 

The piece was written and produced following a delegation to Sarajevo and Srebrenica and included a meeting with the Mothers of Srebrenica.

Survivors who contributed their stories to the script also flew to Scotland from Bosnia to attend the launch.

Julie Adair, chair of Remembering Srebrenica Scotland, said:

“The students, and perhaps even some of the teachers, who will take part in this unique theatre programme were not even born during the Bosnian conflict. It’s a privilege to bring the stories of this beautiful county to those in Scotland, and to tell of its painful history.

“There is so much that we can all learn from what happened in Bosnia, starting with the need for acceptance and tolerance of others, whether they’re from Scotland or come to our shores from elsewhere in the world.

“The accounts and testimonies in Inseparable are all real, based on the experiences of people who survived the horrors of war. Some have since made their home right here in Scotland and are making positive contributions to our society.”

The story follows the lives of three young people, Azra, Adnan, and Novak who live in a modern-day European city. Their ordinary lives are torn apart by extremism and hatred as war takes over almost everything in their homeland. Their friendships are tested as neighbours turn on each other, with devastating consequences. 

The piece explores what young people in Scotland can do to stop hatred in its tracks and encourage kindness and tolerance in their own communities.

The three main characters are played by Scotland-based actors Kelly Davie (Azra), David Virgo (Novak) and Sam McMeikan (Adnan).

L to R: Sam McMeikan (Adnan), David Virgo (Novak) and Kelly Davie (Azra).

Described by the United Nations as ‘the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War’ the genocide at Srebrenica took place in July 1995 when more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were murdered and buried in mass graves.