The project’s core themes are the relationship between host and stranger; violence and reconciliation; the citizen and the alien.
The aim of the project is to welcome the stranger as guest through a scholarly and philosophical investigation of hospitality through text, performance, film and the digital arts.
Each of the ethnic minorities has held its own municipal elections, which have resulted in Mitrovica having two mayors and city councils, neither of which recognizes the authority of the other.
This ethnic division and ensuing tension is involved at the state level, as well, with Serbia refusing to recognize the independence of Kosovo.
Three kinds of narrative were proposed: a) The reworking of a Celtic myth from the ancient Ulster Cycle, which preceded all community divisions.
The two classrooms were invited to retell this old Irish saga according to their different cultural imaginations and then ‘exchange’ their versions with the other community.
1) In 2010-2011 Guestbook organized an Exchanging Narratives project in cooperation with the Nerve Center in Derry/Londonderry.This took the form of an educational experiment in a city of Northern Ireland where 90 percent of schools are still organized along denominational lines, each denomination being aligned with an opposing political tradition.Two schools (Protestant/Unionist and Catholic/Nationalist) were invited to engage in a process of 'Exchanging Narratives’, with the respective students retelling a set of stories from both their own and the other's perspective.2) In May 2010, Guestbook collaborated with the Beyond Divided Cities Conference in Mitrovica, Kosovo, to produce an ‘Exchanging Narratives’ documentary.The video, entitled ‘Young People of Serbia and Bosnia Speak Out’, was directed by James and Petra Taylor and co-produced by Richard Kearney and Padraig O’Malley, the organizer of Beyond the Divided Cities Conference.