On the occasion of the 31st anniversary of the start of the Sarajevo siege, the longest siege of a capital city in modern history, the Siege of Sarajevo Museum was inaugurated. The Museum authentically portrays the everyday life of Sarajevo’s citizens who were terrorized as part of the shelling and sniping campaign orchestrated by the Bosnian Serb political and military establishment.
A cold March morning in 1993 left a permanent mark on the lives of children from the village of Srmać in Kladanj as well as the United Nations (UN) soldiers, who would reunite 30 years later. Their reunion brought back memories of the smiles on the children’s faces because of the sweets and toys they received from the UN soldiers. At the same time, it confirmed that distance and time cannot sever friendships as long as they are built on love and respect.
The siege of Sarajevo, the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare, continues to be remembered for its brutal disregard for life. Nevertheless, amidst the grave destruction, daily shelling, and the constant struggle for survival, the people of Sarajevo refused to surrender. During this harrowing period, artists played a vital role, contributing to the birth of a culture of resistance in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina and showing that the spirit of Sarajevo will never die.
Tourism in areas known for acts of war, genocide, and terror has been dubbed ‘dark tourism.’ BiH has been included on a dark tourism website which provides information on various dark tourism destinations, including Sarajevo, Mostar, and Srebrenica.
There, behind the apartment blocks which once obscured the festival’s inaugural 1994 iteration from VRS snipers, we settled down for a special pre-screening of Jasmila Žbanić’s still unfinished documentary, Blum.