Jorsala 2014: Ypres – Sarajevo

Hundred years after the start of WW I Jorsala remembers the then fault lines, from Sarajevo to Ypres, or the other way around. Lack of mutual respect, lack of communication and the absence of enough respect for each person’s right to be human resulted hundred years ago in a horrible war. As in any conflict people were standing opposite each other. But the people at the other side were also of the same kind. Christians, Jews, people of other religions and non-religious people. White, but also brown and black. Hetero and homosexual. Teacher and worker. They were all standing – and they were all biting the dust – together, opposite their own kind, just with a different uniform. The horror of that time has been , even today, repeated in many places in the world. Will people never learn from this useless grief? Ypres and Sarajevo are a symbol for this. And also on several places along this route the sorrow can still be felt. Jorsala wants to connect both places in 2014 by a journey on foot.


On the 8th of May a group of walkers will meet in Ypres for a penetrating starting moment. At first we’ll go peacefully over the battle zone, along the graveyard of so many young people with each their own dreams and stories. After we follow a wonderful path though the Leie and Schelde region, the Flemish Ardennes and Payottenland, along the Belgian language border, meeting people in all their big variety (link to route flash card with the route and planned group accommodation). This prelude of the bigger journey to Sarajevo and then to Istanbul, will be finished in Brussels on the 14th of May with a moment of silence and the question ‘where do we come from and where are we going’.


Here the adventure starts. The direction is fixed, the route not as much and the cosy nest for the night is not pre-arranged. Jorsala counts on the open-heartedness and spirit with all participants, the hospitality of people and organizations on route, on mutual creativity and solidarity. By walking – and definitely at the meeting points on route – we will meet a big diversity of people and groups, and we will reflect together on the human failing that leads to the horror of war.


In June 2014 Sarajevo commemorates the war during a big Peace Event. As a follow-up, Jorsala organizes mid August a two day remembrance day and meeting. The preparatory contacts for this are made. You can find soon the detailed program of our journey in Sarajevo.