As long as they continue to work together to create music, works of art and culture, and theatrical performances, they will bring back the real “Mostar identity” – an identity that belongs to everyone.
Twenty-three years to the day since it was demolished by Serbian nationalists as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign, Banja Luka’s grand mosque, Ferhadija, was reopened on 7 May. Despite continuing tensions between the Serbian and Bosniak population of Banja Luka, the ceremony passed off without incident and marked an important date in the city’s troubled history.
In the Bosnian media, war seems to have never ended. It simply seems to have continued through other means. Above us looms the hologram of war that prevents our confused minds from making sense of oft repeated and empty phrases.
The platform “Youth for Reconciliation” was recently formed with the goal to overcome prejudices and create a space for young people to express their opinions and contribute to the development of community while simultaneously gaining respect and appreciation.
As poet Mak Dizdar describes in “Blue River” there exists a country: “Beyond dread, beyond doubt, beyond nine, beyond ten, deeper and stronger, beyond silence, beyond darkness.” It is here that a good country exists. A country shaped like a heart. That country’s name is Bosnia-Herzegovina and a strange people live in this heart-shaped land.