Who We Are

CANVAS was founded in 2005 by Slobodan Djinovic and Srdja Popovic to advocate for the use of nonviolent resistance in the promotion of human rights and democracy. Since then, we have worked with pro-democracy activists from more than 50 countries.

From CANVAS' headquarters in Belgrade, Serbia, we operate a network of international trainers and consultants with expertise in building and running successful non-violent movements.

We work to build more just, democratic, and responsible society. CANVAS’ offices in Washington DC, Kuala Lumpur, Male, Tbilisi, Johannesburg and Belgrade aim to provide maximum support to the activists on the ground, and they serve as a hub for local and regional initiatives that rely on principals of nonviolent struggle and creative activism.

Our organization disseminates knowledge through a variety of media, including workshops, books, videos, and specialized courses. CANVAS has produced several publications on nonviolent resistance over the years, based on intensive research and our members’ decades of experience in the field.

These revolutionary “know-hows” are available for free download on this website. Additionally, our trainers regularly teach courses on nonviolent strategy at a variety of educational institutions worldwide.

Srdja Popovic and CANVAS have won several awards, including the Paul Lauritzen Award for Human Rights (November 2010), the Jean Mayer Prize by Tufts University (February 2016), and the Brown Democracy Medal by Penn State University (2020).

Our Team

Srdja Popovic, Executive Director

Mr. Popovic is the co-founder of CANVAS, and was a founding member of the Otpor! (“Resistance!”) a movement that had a crucial part in bringing down the Milosevic regime in Serbia. He has a wealth of experience working with activist groups, NGO’s and students, teaching nonviolent methods to achieve a positive social change. Srdja’s educational work extends to teaching courses on nonviolent strategy at University institutions in the U.S. and the U.K, and authoring many publications on the topic of nonviolence including the book “Blueprint for Revolution”.

Slobodan Djinovic, Chairman

Mr. Djinovic is the co-founder of CANVAS, and was a founding member of Otpor! (“Resistance!”), a movement that had a crucial part in bringing down the Milosevic regime in Serbia. Since then, he has become a major proponent of non-violent methods and a leading provider of training to movements for democracy and human rights. Mr. Djinovic has authored several publications and taught strategic nonviolence at Harvard University, New York University, Colorado College, and others.

Breza Race, Program Director

Ms. Race manages all the programs at CANVAS and organises activities ranging from fundraising to program development. She corresponds with external partners regarding strategic planning, implementation and evaluation of the programs. Through her years of work with pro-democracy activists, Breza has used nonviolent creative activism to achieve positive change in society. Ms. Race holds a BA and Special Education Degree from Belgrade’s Faculty of Political Science.

Jelena Stojsic, Program Manager

Ms. Stojsic is responsible for the implementation and supervision of the CANVAS International Programs. She supervises the strategic planning, logistics, reporting and communication with trainers, activist groups and external partners. Ms. Stojsic offers her decade-long experience with activists from a variety of countries and diverse backgrounds. Jelena holds a BA from the Faculty of Philosophy - Department of Psychology.

Ana Vratonjic, Program Manager

Ms. Vratonjic oversees the implementation and supervision of the CANVAS University programs. She is the primary contact for the University programs, as she coordinates with external partners regarding logistics, course content and course implementation. Furthermore, she leads the CANVAS Freedom Fellowship program. Ms.Vratonjic holds a BA from Belgrade’s Faculty of Economics - Management and Marketing.

Jelena Trajčevski, Publishing Manager

Ms. Trajcevski is responsible for CANVAS research and publishing projects. She coordinates the CANVAS Research Team which produces books, manuals, case studies, and media articles. She is the primary contact for media inquiries. Ms. Trajcevski holds a BA from Belgrade’s Faculty of Political Science - International Relations.