Funded by the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the Connections project brought together artists from the former Yugoslavia to encourage meaningful dialogue that promotes understanding and cooperation among different ethnic groups. During the month of June, six artists were in residence at Tamarind Institute. The artists, from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia, once lived in the same country, but are now divided by politics, ideology, and national borders. During their one-month residency, artists also participated in a course offered through the History Department at the University of New Mexico in conjunction with Tamarind Institute. The visiting artists shared their experiences of remaining creative under conditions of societal disintegration, civil war, economic atrophy, and nationalist rhetoric. The participants included: Zlatan Filipovic, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Mirjana Vodopija, Croatia; Tahar Alemendari, Kosovo; Ana Stojkovic, Macedonia; Adam Pantic, Serbia; Damijan Kracina, Slovenia. A public reception was held in the Tamarind Gallery in honor of the artists, and the artists spoke about their work and experiences in New Mexico.
As a follow-up to our Connections project, the Trust for Mutual Understanding awarded Tamarind a grant for Re:Connection to continue the dialogue established during the artists' visit in 2002. The same six artists returned to New Mexico in January/February 2004 where they completed a residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute. The artists created new work that was shown, with the prints they did at Tamarind in 2002, in an exhibition at the University of New Mexico Art Museum, February 24 - June 14, 2004.