When they attacked Sarajevo, I realized that this was also my war
Igor Blaževič was born on February 3, 1963 in Trebinje, Bosnia, into the family of a Croatian civil engineer. In 1968, his family settled in ethnically diverse Sarajevo, where Igor graduated from a high school. After graduating from the high school and serving in the military, he spent half a year in a left-wing community in West Germany, which contributed to his intellectual formation. After returning home, he left the university in Sarajevo and began studying philosophy and literature in Zagreb. At the end of the 1980s, he was often coming to Prague, where his future wife Jasmina studied at FAMU (Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague). In 1991, when the war broke out in Croatia, he lived in Prague and initially tried to cut himself off from the events in the former Yugoslavia. However, when the blockade of Sarajevo began in the spring of 1992, he became personally involved. He went to various humanitarian institutions and asked for help. He found the greatest response from Šimon Pánek and Jaromír Štětina from the Lidové noviny Foundation. In cooperation with them, he initiated a public collection for Bosnia and supplied food and other necessities to besieged Sarajevo. It continued in cooperation with the Lidové noviny Foundation even after it was transformed into the People in Need Foundation under the auspices of Czech Television. After the war in the former Yugoslavia, he devoted himself to other humanitarian missions, such as Chechnya, Cambodia, and Burma. He also made documentaries in these countries. He founded the One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival and served as its director until 2010. He is the holder of the Alice Garrigue Masaryk Human Rights Award and the František Kriegl Award.