December 10, 2019
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Srdja breaks down the elements of what makes a successful movement of resistance and what that looks like in practice.
Srdja Popovic is the Founder and Executive director of the Center for Applied Nonviolent Actions and Strategies (CANVAS), a non-profit organization based in Belgrade, Serbia that aims to teach the use of nonviolence to make a change.
He was born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia (then part of Yugoslavia), in 1973. Popovic played the guitar in a rock band and graduated from the Faculty of Biology in Belgrade, holding a Master’s degree (MA) in animal ecology. Since his early 20ies, he has focused on activism, democracy and human rights issues.In 1998, Popovic founded the student movement “Otpor!” (“Resistance!”) which played a crucial role in ousting president Slobodan Milosevic, former Serbian dictator accused of war crimes. After Milosevic was defeated in 2000, Popovic was elected to the Serbian Parliament where he served from 2000 until 2004.Following his career in the Serbian Parliament, Popovic went on to found CANVAS, acting as its executive director ever since.
CANVAS was created with the intent of teaching people all over the world about how to be successful in nonviolent conflict. So far, the organization has worked with activists from 46 different countries, spreading the knowledge of the nonviolent strategies and tactics used by Otpor! worldwide.He is currently the 53rd Rector of the University of St. Andrews. He commenced the role of the University Rector for a period of 3 years from 1 November 2017.
Apart from being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012, Popovic was listed as one of the “Top 100 Global Thinkers” of 2011 by the Foreign Policy Magazine. And in 2014 he was listed as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum in Davos. Popovic is also the author of the recent book Blueprint for Revolution.
• What forms of art have stirred your consciousness? What about this/these work(s) moved you?
• What is the vision of the movements you support or are a part of? What about their vision captivates you? What steps are they taking to see their vision become reality?
• Who are folks who might ally with you in your work for social change? What makes them effective allies?