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Posts from the ‘Bosnia and Herzegovina’ Category

War crimes in Višegrad

CRIMES BEFORE ICTY: VISEGRAD

Director Steve Coulson (International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia)

Pictures: Luca Bonacini and others – 2016

 

The nationalist political parties (Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks) are consolidated at the power in a country already ethnically divided. In one municipality a convicted war criminal became mayor. In Mostar conflicts are so deep that the polls couldn’t be organized…

The situation in Sarajevo doesn’t encourage optimism. The city symbol of the peaceful coexistence of four religions, which has strenuously resisted the siege while Europe turned its back, is slowly changing its face. Many people, some of them children of mixed marriages, are leaving the country in search of jobs. My two best friends already move to Italy to build a better future…

At the same time tourists are coming from the Gulf countries with their wives wrapped in burqas and niqabs. Fascinated by the city and its mountains, they are investing in shopping centers and building residential compounds. In the pool where I used to bring my kids, now there are exclusive schedules for women…

The situation is alarming, especially considering that the war that took place more than 20 years ago led to the “ethnic cleansing” (8000 muslims massacred in few days in Srebrenica).

This is the main topic of the documentary produced by the International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia (director Steve Coulson) and illustrated with some of my photos taken in this area.

It talks about the ethnic cleansing in the region of Višegrad (1992-1993) a small town resting on the river of the Drina. A bucolic area described by the Nobel Prize of literature Ivo Andric in his “Bridge on the Drina”, that became one of the most emblematic crime scene of the former Jugoslavia conflict. Ruins of burned houses, cemetery river and hotel of rapes still testify to a not so distant past. A recent past when Serbian “neighbors”, after decades of cohabitation, started to kill their muslim “neighbors”. The documentary helps us not to forget. The crimes of which Lukic brothers were accused and convicted, still make the blood run cold.

 

I segnali lanciati dalle ultime elezioni municipali (ottobre 2016) in Bosnia-Erzegovina non sono incoraggianti.

I partiti nazionalisti (serbi, croati e bosgnacchi) si consolidano al potere in un paese già etnicamente diviso. In una municipalità, un criminale di guerra condannato diventa sindaco. A Mostar i conflitti sono così accesi che non è nemmeno possibile organizzare gli scrutini…

A Sarajevo la situazione non spinge all’ottimismo.

Una volta città simbolo della convivenza pacifica di 4 religioni, capace di resistere strenuamente all’assedio, malgrado l’abbandono da parte dall’Europa, la capitale del paese piano piano cambia faccia.

I giovani, spesso figli dei matrimoni misti, partono all’estero alla ricerca di lavoro. I miei due migliori amici sono partiti in Italia.

Al posto arrivano i turisti del golfo, con mogli al seguito, spesso avvolte in burqa e niqab. Affascinati dalla città e dalle sue montagne, investono in shopping center, fabbricano condominii. Nella piscina in cui portavo i bambini, da poco hanno stabilito gli orari esclusivi per le donne…

La situazione è preoccupante, soprattutto alla luce della guerra avvenuta più di 20 anni fa’ e che ha provocato vere e proprie “pulizie etniche” (8000 mussulmani massacrati in qualche giorno solo a Srebrenica).

Anche di questo narra il documentario girato dal Tribunale Penale Internazionale per l’ex Jugoslavia e illustrato da alcune mie foto prese nella regione di Višegrad.

Il documentario parla della pulizia etnica nella zona di questa piccola cittadina “tranquilla” adagiata sul fiume Drina. Una zona un tempo bucolica, descritta dal premio nobel della letteratura Ivo Andrić nel suo libro “il ponte sulla Drina” e recentemente un angolo di terra teatro di crimini atroci. Ruderi di case incendiate, un fiume cimitero e l’hotel degli stupri testimoniano ancora di un passato vicino. Un passato in cui i “vicini” serbi, dopo anni di convivenza, hanno iniziato a dare la caccia ai loro “vicini” di casa mussulmani. Il documentario serve a non dimenticare. I crimini di cui sono stati accusati e condannati i fratelli Lukic fanno gelare il sangue.

12 Oct 2016

Roma day: smiling kids at school

1604romaincluschool2013

Two happy kids at school. Today, 8th of April, is the Roma international day. The Roma contribution to European and world culture (music, for instance) is disproportionately large and barely known in comparison to their social position (unfortunately well diffused by the media…). Vogosca, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 2012. © Luca Bonacini. Copyright: the pictures on this site are the property of the author and cannot be used without permission.

8 Apr 2016

Mira: words and people from Sarajevo

“Words and people from Sarajevo”, work in progress. “Bums on the street” is the expressive slogan raised by Mira Potocki, against the passivity of the people who accept with resignation the bad economic and social situation of the country. According to Mira, 63 year’s old, “people here do not live, they just survive”. Mira does not receive any pension and she has to take care to her son who was seriously injured during the war. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, April 2014 © Luca Bonacini. Copyright: the pictures on this site are the property of the author and cannot be used without permission.

27 May 2014

Esef: words and people from Sarajevo

Words and people from Sarajevo: Esef“Words and people from Sarajevo”, work in progress. Esef smiles and tells that his country doesn’t have future (nema buducnosti). He his from Brcko district in Bosnia Herzegovina and this area was badly damaged by heavy rain and floods. He draws parallels between weather and social and politic cataclysms… Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 2014 © Luca Bonacini. Copyright: the pictures on this site are the property of the author and cannot be used without permission.

17 May 2014

High heels and boots: peaceful protest in Sarajevo

Peaceful protest against the economic and political situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, during the opening of the restored Vijecnica (City Hall and national library) destroyed by bosnian serb shelling in 1992 during the Sarajevo siege. Between the night of 25 and 26th of August, more than 2 millions of valuable books got lost. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 2014 © Luca Bonacini. Copyright: the pictures on this site are the property of the author and cannot be used without permission.

9 May 2014

Kenan: words and people from Sarajevo

“Words and people from Sarajevo”, work in progress. Kenan and his first (italian) love. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, April 2014 © Luca Bonacini. Copyright: the pictures on this site are the property of the author and cannot be used without permission.

5 May 2014

Darko: words and people from Sarajevo

Words and people from Sarajevo: Darko“Words and people from Sarajevo”, work in progress. A tribute to Darko, “the best waiter in town”. During endless, loud and smoky nights, Darko must struggle to make his way through a flood of customers squeezed in a packed Celtic Pub. Even on the crowded nights of ex-Yu rock concerts, Darko, perfectly dressed with traditional kilt, miraculously finds you a place to stay…sometimes behind the bar counter. Always with a smile and  life has not always been easy. The beer and the four-leaf clover represent his wishes to all and – I guess – a tribute to a (not so) regular customer. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, April 2014 © Luca Bonacini. Copyright: the pictures on this site are the property of the author and cannot be used without permission.

25 Apr 2014

Amira: words and people from Sarajevo

1403amiradyptic“Words and people from Sarajevo”, work in progress. Amira is an activist who thinks that is the responsibility of each believer to struggle for better life and better future. “I always see silent people accepting passively the social and economic situation”. For this reason Amira, married and mother of three children, comes almost every day in front of the bosnian presidency building to protest against corruption and lack of political action: “corruption goodbye” (korupcija zbogom), it’s her message. A very positive attitude despite the lack of concern of part of the population. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, March 2014 © Luca Bonacini. Copyright: the pictures on this site are the property of the author and cannot be used without permission.

 

16 Apr 2014

Bakir: words and people from Sarajevo

Words and people from Sarajevo: Bakir“Words and people from Sarajevo”, work in progress. I met Bakir in front of a “kafana penzioneri” in Vratnik district of Sarajevo. At that time I was interested on stories and feelings about the war. I quickly learned that is not easy at all to talk about this painful past. “It’s too difficult to speak about the war”, he told me in french. Bakir, football player before the war, spent a after war period in France. Afterwards he came back to his beloved town. People want to look towards the future and this is a political message too… Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, February 2011 © Luca Bonacini. Copyright: the pictures on this site are the property of the author and cannot be used without permission.

11 Apr 2014

Maid Hecimovic

Photosession with Bosnia-Herzegovina singer Maid Hecimovic, third place of the most famous regional song contest, X-Factor Adria (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia). Hecimovic just published his new album “Novi Pocetak” (New beginning). Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, March 2014 © Luca Bonacini. Copyright: the pictures on this site are the property of the author and cannot be used without permission.

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7 Apr 2014