INTERVIEW – Boris Luketa: “Through political party activism one can act most politically”

The Academy for Women (AFW), in the frame of the project Academy of Political Literacy of Youth in BiH, encourages participants of the Academy to write texts, initiate topics that they consider important for the society, but also to take part in interviews. 

Our first interview is with Boris Luketa.

AFW: Boris, thank you for agreeing to be our interlocutor and to share your thoughts with our participants, as well as the people who follow our work through social networks. There are many reasons why young people decide to get engaged in political parties. Some people like to say that among certain age groups there is no difference in the reasons and motives for deciding to get engaged in a political party. What is your motive for party engagement?

Boris: My motive for party engagement is a little specific. There is a great family connection with political party I am a member of and I would say that membership in the Serbian Democratic Party has already become a tradition in my family. In addition to the tradition of choosing a party, I have always known that I will become engaged in a political party, because I am someone who wants to make personal contribution and works on changes, I think that I need to be in the decision-making positions, to participate in these processes, not that others decide instead or on my behalf, while I am only an observer. Through political party activism one can act most politically, therefore, my commitment is to give my personal contribution and be a representative of changes for a better social community.

Generally speaking, young people have a totally different rhetoric than current politicians. Everyone is aware of all the bad things happening in our society regardless of party affiliation and we conduct many constructive conversations. You would be surprised how many similar views we have on most of the issues. If we do not agree on something, these are mostly ideological perceptions. Of course, there are those who are looking for conflicts and are only dealing with nationalistic rhetoric, but they are in the minority, and this is something that gives me optimism for the future.

AFW: It's not easy to deal with politics in the true sense of the word, and when we take into consideration the context in which we are and which still upholds illusions that wit comes with the age and that the world remains on the shoulders of the youth, then we can conclude that young people who choose to get engaged in apolitical party face numerous obstacles and that they are still insufficiently valued in order to be equal members of the party. What are all the obstacles that young people who decide on party activism face in their work? Koje su to sve prepreke s kojima se mlade osobe koje se odluče na stranački aktivizam susreću u svom radu?

Boris: When it comes to obstacles, I think there are two types of obstacles. One kind of obstacle is the one imposed by others, and the other kind is imposed by ourselves. The first type is manifested through the mistrust of older colleagues and the skepticism towards young people, because they consider themselves to be more competent than us, that young people do not know enough, that we lack the experience, political and party service, etc., and it is very likely that behind this fear from competition is hiding which young people carry along those days. Young people in most cases speak foreign languages, are computer literate are more relaxed towards some issues, etc. Another kind of obstacle is the one we impose on ourselves, which is so natural because we are children who through education are not encouraged as individuals, but their individuality must rather fit into general molds, predominantly the imposed ones. That is why we later lack confidence and faith in ourselves and our possibilities, we do not believe in our knowledge, skills and ideas, we are constantly afraid of the reaction of the elderly, especially if our opinion is not the same as theirs. This is when we come to the conclusion that many young people very easily give up on political struggle. I must add that I have the luck and pleasure that I do not encounter such things in my municipal committee and that there young people have enough space. I would love to say that this is also the case in other areas within the party, but unfortunately it is not.

AWF: The phrase that we can hear often is that the world stays on the young, but then we see that there are less and less young people in the state, and those who stayed on one side do not get a chance to show what they know, while others act within the political subjects and somehow they do not really differ from their elderly colleagues. Do you think that young people in political entities in BiH are insufficiently engaged, that they are increasingly resembling their elderly party colleagues and that their role models are party leaders?

Boris: I have to agree with your statement. I am not the best interlocutor to give an answer as to why this is so, because I come from a party that does not have a cult leader and who recently elected its seventh president. I think that a bad original is better than a good copy and I really regret see young people trying to resemble party leaders. And the first part of the question is the fact that in some parties, young people have more in some less space. It is up to party politics, and all those parties that want to have a future should promote young people as much as possible and give them more space for action.

AFW: As a political and party activist you are in regular communication with youth from other parties, as well as with young people working in civil society organizations. How do you evaluate your co-operation and do you think that young people, regardless to which party or organization they belong to, have a common direction and a clear vision of how to improve the position of youth in BiH?

Boris: Generally speaking, young people have a totally different rhetoric than current politicians. Everyone is aware of all the bad things happening in our society regardless of party affiliation and we conduct many constructive conversations. You would be surprised how many similar views we have on most of the issues. If we do not agree on something, these are mostly ideological perceptions. Of course, there are those who are looking for conflicts and are only dealing with nationalistic rhetoric, but they are in the minority, and this is something that gives me optimism for the future.

The fact is that young people are not fighting enough for the youth. This is something that strongly disturbs me and in my future political engagement I want to work on the establishment of bridges between young people regardless whether they are active and regardless in within which organization they are active.

AFW: Qualifications are often heard that young people in political parties quickly forget young people who are not in political parties, that they forget to fight for youth in general, and that they like their predecessors look to improve their personal status. How much do you agree with this or disagree?

Boris: Reluctantly, but I have to agree with this. Is it true that they did not have the sincere intentions and desires to contribute to the improvement of the position of their generation through their party and political activism, or that after their inclusion into the political party glory went to their head, I would not know really, but probably somewhat of both. The fact is that young people are not fighting enough for the youth. This is something that strongly disturbs me and in my future political engagement I want to work on the establishment of bridges between young people regardless whether they are active and regardless in within which organization they are active.

AFW: Every day there are less and less young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. With the departure of a young people who are qualified and in a working age, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a state, loses in every respect. If we, as a social community, worked more on a single and more modern educational system, perhaps our young people today would be leaving less. How much young people has Bosnia and Herzegovina lost and is still losing because of the fragmented and divided education system, because of the lack of a Ministry of Education at the state level?

Boris: I think that the very division of educational systems is not as problematic as it is problematic that each of the education systems at different levels is in itself bad. When it comes to the Ministry of Education at the state level, it is sad that, if this topic were to be used, it would be used for cheap political points, it would not be spoken about the essence and we would again end up where we are. Because of the non-existence of this ministry, we, as a state, are limited in withdrawing the EU education fund. The historical heritage is so that we can not have the same plan and program with respect to mother tongue or history, which I fully understand. But mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, physical, etc. is the same for everyone. Instead of finding a consensus on these issues and withdrawing money from the EU, our political leaders are looking for a cause of strife and conflict in every topic.

AFW: As a political and party activist and engaged person, what would you single out as your contribution to the community?

Boris: I think that the biggest contribution to my community is that I have become very aware of all the problems that we have and that we are facing, and I started to work and fight to change them. What I am very proud of is that among my generation I more and more break the prejudices that politicians are only thieves and that they are all the same. Through various forms of informal education I met young people from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina and brought them closer to the environment from which I come, many of them had different misconceptions about this region. Young people often think that in politics you can achieve something overnight, but that's not the case. Politics like changes are a long process, and it has to go one step at a time, and that's how I feel it. Currently, I am not in a position of power where I could make big decisions, but I am very ambitious and definitely see myself in the future there. Until then, I work on myself on a daily basis, through education, informal education, building and nurturing the network of people, I work in the best way for my community, because working on myself I invest in the future from which my community will benefit. In order to achieve a major victory or change, small victories should be made on a daily basis. And from these little victories one day big victories will come. This is something that I constantly have in the subconscious and what I try to do on a daily basis. Anyone who sees politics as a struggle for higher goals and ideals, and not as a mean of realizing personal interests, has already done a lot for his or her community. I can put myself in that group.

Things taught in academies of this type are invaluable for future political engagement. 

I would like to point out something that may be even more important, which is to get acquainted with other young people from various parts of the country, various commitments and attitudes. 

I would like to point out something that may be even more important, which is to get acquainted with other young people from various parts of the country, various commitments and attitudes.

AFW: Do young people in BiH need an Academy of Political Literacy?

Boris: Yes, absolutely. Things taught in academies of this type are invaluable for future political engagement. Learning opportunities from excellent lecturers and experts in their fields is useful in several ways. I would like to point out something that may be even more important, which is to get acquainted with other young people from various parts of the country, various commitments and attitudes. Through talking to each other and discussing, we can all make a lot of progress together, and from acquaintances and friendships that grow we will surely benefit all for the rest of our lives. I'm very happy to say that where ever I go in this country I have some acquaintance or friend.

Boris Luketa

Boris Luketa was born on 16.8.1997 in Kasindol / East Sarajevo. As an adult, he decides on party engagement and becomes a member of the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS). He is a student at the Faculty of Business Finance in East Sarajevo, University of Business Studies, Banja Luka. His hobbies are sports, reading and writing blogs.

The following motto leads him: "Be the change you want to see", "You will accomplish what you are thinking about."