|How to act
Civic Groups, Europe, Political interventions, Spreading information
Sweden joined the European Union in 1995, and thus held elections to the European Parliament that summer. Inspired by the previous year’s “Europe starts in Sarajevo” campaign in France, a group of Swedish intellectuals and artists created the “Sarajevo List” party (Sarajevolistan), to “give Bosnia a voice” during the campaign and in the European Parliament. The list was led by the writer and historian Wilhelm Agrell, and included well known public figures such as the actress Bibi Andersson and the journalists Maciej Zaremba, Jesús Alcalá and Eva Moberg. It was also supported by other prominent figures such as the rock star Ulf Lundell and the poet Lars Gustafsson. Sarajevolistan called on the EU to end the war and reestablish Bosnia as a multi-ethnic state, to change its asylum policy and to monitor war crimes. During the elections, Sarajevo List got 26,875 votes (1%). Though it did not win a seat, it received the most votes of all parties who did not gain seats in parliament.
One of the candidates, Maciej Zaremba, was asked by the magazine “Why” if “it is possible to act through List for Sarajevo, hunger strikes, pacifist actions for peace?” He answered: “Yes, it is possible. We have to believe that it is possible. Even if it is not possible, you have to act anyway. I am Polish by origin and I can say that the best scientists, intellectuals, artists, doctors started in the early seventies a movement for an independent and democratic Poland. At that time they had almost no reason to believe that this movement would achieve any success because it seemed that the USSR would stay forever. They didn’t do it because they estimated their actions would bring success: they did it to keep their own dignity.”