What do a soldier, an aid worker and a refugee have in common? They all share the experience of war. And while one is an active participant, one seeks to heal its wounds and one deals with its impact; their personal, raw and often times visceral stories are rarely heard. Rather, war is too often depicted as clean, precise, and distant. It occurs ‘over there’ and happens to ‘them’.
Maz's first experience of war was during the siege of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where, as a ten-year-old, the world he knew came apart. Not long into the war, he became a refugee in Germany where his life was precarious at best and outright dangerous at worst. Nearly four years later, his family was lucky to migrate to Australia, where he later joined the Army. Having served in Afghanistan and Timor Leste, he again saw the impact of war, except this time as a uniformed participant. Since then, he has established a not-for-profit in Bosnia, studied in Sweden, worked as a consultant in Iraq, lectured on intercultural and interpersonal communication, and now, back in the Australian Army, manages doctrine and instructs on interpersonal communication and human terrain analysis. Over the years, he has realised that most of our social narratives of war were simple, sanitised and rarely account for its true horrors and abject inhumanity.
It is this gap in our social discourse of war that this podcast seeks to fill. He speaks with development workers, soldiers, refugees, negotiators, academics, medical practitioners, and anyone else whose life has been shaped by war; be they a survivor, perpetrator, mediator, or healer of it. The aim is to dissect war into its most-basic definitive parts – to demystify, and perhaps more-importantly de-glorify it. He wants to make lucid the magnitude and scale of human suffering caused by war within those professionally engaged with it – be they an advocate or prosecutor of it – as well as within those who merely observe and judge it from afar through mainstream and social media. By doing this he hopes to dislodge, ever so slightly, our collective tendency to view war as the solution to our many local, regional and global challenges.
To date, Vedran has completed over 45 podcasts with episodes being loaded weekly. The Cove is fortunate to share the podcasts with you via our website and also on our Apple and Spotify Cove Podcast playlists. You can also stream Maz's other podcasts via his website. To get an understanding of this series you can listen to the introductory podcast below.
Click on the series links on the right to choose your Voices of War podcast by theme.