Trauma of Conflict


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The purpose of this project is to examine the ‘culture of trauma’ and to consider how a national identity can be constructed or imagined in the wake of the bloodshed of war. A 3rd year undergraduate project undertaken as part of the living in a digital world media & communication module at Coventry University.

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  • This research project specifically invited us to examine and argue the case that today we live in a culture of trauma, with repeated images of death and suffering forming our collective and individual cultural unconscious. This would be achieved through studying the Yugoslavian conflicts which began in 1991 and continued until1995, considering how a national identity can be reconstructed or imagined in the wake of bloodshed and war. Therefore, an analysis of the political and social histories, post war reconstruction and Western and alternative representations of the atrocities would form the bulk of our research. After discussion we chose Sarajevo, and in particular the Siege of Sarajevo as an object of analysis, as the city’s complex history and the recent events occupied a central place in the Balkan conflicts. The Siege of Sarajevo continued from April 1992 to February 1996, making it the longest siege within a capital city in the history of modern warfare .It is estimated almost 12 000 people died or went missing within the time of the said events
  • Before we begin we would like to stress that this is a presentation of our views and experiences of Sarajevo and that we are not trying to generalise or provide any definitive conclusions.With the recent and atrocious nature of the crimes and studying as students from a Western perspective, it was clear that the nature of such a project must be dealt sensitivity of the events and victims involved. Therefore, throughout the project we hope to have conducted a professional and ethically sound attitude regarding all areas of research.
  • This is the question we based the project upon and it refers to the trauma of conflict in relation to socio-cultural, geographic and political factors and their representations in the media.
  • Our approach to research methods consisted of many secondary resources, as we were consistently examining the likes of historical and cultural artefacts, theoretical books and essays, documentaries, news articles and representations of Sarajevo. These were predominantly located online or within the library. In terms of primary research, attempts were made to contact participants within Sarajevo via their universities and online social mediums, in preparation for two separate field trips that would be undertaken in the city.
  • Although these efforts were unsuccessful, willing participants were found on arrival regarding both trips, and a number of informal and instructed interviews were conducted. We were also fortunate enough to attend an international conference within Sarajevo which was centred on the events of the Siege. Here we describe our research as participant observations. Finally after exploring Debord's abstract and theoretical notions, a number of derives were conducted within the city, evidencing these walks with an abundance of visual and written material. We hope to present both our primary and secondary research efforts as clearly as possible over the next 30 minutes.
  • What is now Bosnia and Herzegovina’s territory has been familiar with conflict since ancient times. The Great Illyrian Revolt which happened here is mentioned by Roman historian Suetonius; later on in the Middle Ages the territories were disputed between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Byzantine Empire. In 1463, what used to be the Kingdom of Bosnia was taken over by the Ottoman Empire. Over 400 years later, at the Congress of Berlin, the Austro-Hungarian Empire obtained occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the 20th century, World War I was sparked by the assassination of Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand in the very heart of Sarajevo. Post-war, Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the Kingdom of Yugoslavia which lasted only until its conquest by Nazi forces in World War II. Although very simplistic, this outline might shed some light onto the history of conflict and instability.
  • Following a multi-ethnic resistance movement led by Josip Broz Tito, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was created in 1946, of which Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of the six republics.Tito’s image seems to have been a double-edged sword. Firstly, he was a saviour, an image built via nostalgia. The nostalgia felt today, is based on the aspect of unity among different nationalities and cultures. He also tried to represent freedom and the independence during the wars, by resisting the dominant powers and authorities, creating the ‘Non Aligned Movement’ in 1961.
  • Through creating a more modern infrastructure, he managed to raise the standard of living and develop the economy.  However, his position was equivalent to a dictator’s. Certain voices signalled an oppression of the anti-communist Serbian bourgeoisie and an attempt to purge the aforementioned demographic. In order to help his cause, Tito manipulated national conflicts, which further on led to the war in 1991. Democracy was only proclaimed during Tito’s regime, as there was no real opposition to the communist party, elections being staged with a secret police conducting political terror and ethnic purging. The reason for this historical background is to foreground the underlying causes that led to the Siege of Sarajevo.
  • Professor MirkoPejanolovic, (Faculty of Political Sciences of the Sarajevo University) suggested some historical background by discussing the after effects of the dissolution of SFR Yugoslavia, concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina. Whilst other federations such as Slovenia and Croatia began declaring independence, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s parliament began opening discussion regarding the constitutional and legal status of the nation, in regard to new socio-historic circumstances. After discussion, all the parties within the parliament excluding the Serb Democratic Party reached the consensus that the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina would function as a multi-ethnic party system as opposed to single party. The majority of citizens voted for a Sovereign and independent state of equal people; Bosniacs, Croats and Serbs.
  • The Serb Democratic Party refused to accept the conditions of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s new state party and as a result left the Parliament, Government and Presidency. With the support of the Milosevic regime and the JNA (Yugoslav People’s Army) and with the delay in initiating RBH’s sovereign position, they began with the application of force to gain achievement of its objectives. The clear objective in mind; “destruction of the statehood of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its ethnic division” The two crucial elements of the Serb Democratic Party’s forced application were the violent persecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s non- Serb population (across areas such as Posavina, East Bosnia and Bosnian Krajina) and the Siege of Sarajevo; the capital city with the strongest multicultural and multi ethnic structure of population. 
  • To begin our discussion on the trauma of conflict, here are some brief theoretical explanations.Trauma has been described by sociologist Jeffrey Alexander as a scientific concept that occurs when the identity of a collective is changed, which imprints on the memory of the collective as a result of disastrous events, in this case, the Siege of Sarajevo. He would suggest that through communication, an individual’s personal encounter of the siege would be shared, as well as the experiences had by others, resulting in the proceeding becoming a collective trauma.  
  • Trauma can be experienced further than just by directly living through the Siege. Images of the Siege are disseminated as an extended method of communication across many media platforms; news, documentaries, literatures and art, resulting in the situation being shared by many. By being embraced in the remembrance of the Siege, collectives are reminded of the event, possibly resulting in an experience of trauma.
  • Alexander explores the psychoanalytical approach according to which experience is distorted and memories are repressed, as well as the ‘Lay Trauma Theory’ suggesting that trauma of war is a natural reaction. These approaches attempt to explain the situation in Sarajevo where constant bombing and shelling, as well as the lack of essential survival supplies causes distraction and trauma to its population. Not only the physical threat of injuries and death, but also psychological terror seemed to be a traumatising factor. The uncertainty of war, as well as the threat of destruction to the national cultural and social identity were recurring themes in discussions about the siege.A justification for this theoretical approach is the fact that we are trying to explore the trauma of conflict through western and indigenous representations of the siege of Sarajevo and the field research we conducted within the city.
  • However, from our field trip experiences, we were surprised not by the absence of trauma, but by the way people we met dealt with it. We were burdened by with preconceptions from Western representations. Having seen images of destruction and death, we were expecting danger, depressing and unexploded landmines. The field trips only lasted for a few days which did not give us the possibility to research into the depths of the matter. However, from our observation, the culture of Sarajevo incorporates trauma as a fact of life. The central market is a memorial of 67 people who were killed during the siege, still preserving the exploded landmine, while people still carry on loudly trading, selling fruit, vegetables, cheeses and pickles. Trauma seems to be accepted as a normal consequence of war, and people appear to be concentrating more on rebuilding their city, their lives and their existence rather than on trauma.
  • When researching western representations of Sarajevo’s post war reconstruction the group looked at archives from the New York Times and the Guardian, with articles from the years of 1994 – 1995 which the group then compared against articles printed in 2002 from the Guardian. We focused on these two newspapers as they are both highly influential publications within two different western countries. Common themes were distinguished between the two newspapers despite the date difference. Both talked about the rebirth of the city, both in the physical reconstruction, the financial impact and logistics, and then also the social and emotional reconstruction as the residents continued life in a post siege city. The articles steer away from any political commentary and are at points almost quite romantic, describing Sarajevo “blossoming” out of the ruins caused during the siege with “children once again filling the streets” However, despite the optimism, the articles also present the brash facts about the reconstruction. They stress the amount of financial investment and complex organisation required.
  • These articles demonstrate how the media avoids once again writing about any political aspects of the siege, instead writing only about the restoration of the city. The article acknowledges that much restoration work is still required yet still writes positively about the reconstruction effects to date.In amongst writing about the physical buildings, the articles were also conscious of the residents who lived and worked in Sarajevo, describing scenes within the city and including quotes from residents. Overall, the western media representation taken from the both the publications appear to avoid discussing the politics of the siege of Sarajevo, instead focusing on both the physical and emotional aspects of the reconstruction of the city. The articles are strongly centred around the cost and funding of the restoration, largely due to the donation made by the USA, and the practical aspects of both materials and logistics. The articles do however write about the residents of Sarajevo, and their lifestyle changes in the now peaceful city. Although this is perhaps sometimes romanticized and only part of the story, it is optimistic and sheds a positive light across Sarajevo and its restoration efforts.
  • However, within the conference we attended on the field trip, the group were able to appreciate different aspects and perspectives relating to the Siege which we would not have encountered otherwise. The conference was based on the Political and Military relevance of the Defense of Sarajevo and was held within the city and bared representative of its events. Due to this, the speakers and discussion predominantly held importance on uncovering truths and providing justice for victims of the crimes of the Siege. Whilst objectively we are to understand the works discussed as one element to a largely complex situation, it can be that the content and personal histories of this conference hold a human weight of significance, due to the incomparable events of the siege of Sarajevo. Regarding the defence of Sarajevo, the main points were as follows.Firstly, the self-organisation of the citizens within Sarajevo during the war, whose defence included the overall national resistance, was of utmost importance. Throughout the siege, public services and institutions continued to function as citizens attended their jobs, schools and universities continued to operate, hospitals and fire fighters worked without a day off and cultural activities continued to be planned.QUOTE
  • Focusing predominantly on the discussions held regarding the International community during the Siege of Sarajevo, the main points were;-The international perspective was that a civil and bloody war was being undertaken in which genocide was being committed by all sides of the former and now broken Yugoslavia. This moral equivalence in the eyes of the international community was purposely executed by Serbian propaganda, in order to provoke anger throughout Serbs and incite hatred upon neighbouring nations. Subsequently, Serbia attempt to re-write the histories of their crimes at the expense of the victims.-The international community in turn benefited from this confusion and the non- condemnation of any one party, as a lack of infiltration could be morally accepted. Serbia should have been judged by the international and European community for the organised crimes committed in order for territorial gain. In reality, no shock was produced across the world; instead the International community quietly watched the slaughter of Bosnians in an unprovoked and genocidal attack that was used as for the stage of international theatre. QUOTE
  • When applying Said’s Orientalism to this discussion, themes run apparent through the West’s neglect in condemning Serbia in effort for their own gain. Even though Said concretes Orientalism historically within representations of the Middle East, he suggests that all cultures have a view of other cultures that may be exotic and harmless to some extent. But it is not what he argues when this view is taken by a militarily and economically dominant culture against another as it can lead to disastrous results.However, what complicates the theory and what seems to be of further injustice regarding the conference speakers is the location of Yugoslavia. Orientalism historically bases their views on the European attitude and representation of the east during times of Colonialism and Imperialism. Bosnia and Herzogovina sits on the edge of Europe and through the conference this fact is held in high regard, making the Western representations of the ‘Other’ further complicated. From our personal and general opinion, initial views of Bosnia and Herzogovina and the city of Sarajevo was not one of an allied European country, but of a place of danger, war atrocities and poverty. These complex and abstract boundaries and divisions between east and West are the common theme running through this project and will be discussed further later.  
  • Habitus and hexis are concepts devised by Pierre Bourdieu to describe the predispositions of the ‘body’ and ‘soul’ of social classes. However, as space and place were considered to be causal, living or live entities, we found it appropriate to apply them to the city by looking at the ‘local spirit’ which underpins its physical traits, patterns of organisation and movements. These seem to reflect certain values and traditions.
  • In the case of Sarajevo, the ‘spirit of the place’ or the habitus seems to be characterised by instability and a propensity to conflict. Bosnia and Herzegovina in general, and Sarajevo in particular have been in many ways ambiguous: in Europe, but on its Easternmost coordinates, with a majority of Muslim citizens (CIA 2012) in a sea of Christianity and having been occupied by or incorporated into numerous empires, kingdoms or federations over time. QUOTE
  • This habitus of instability and ‘in-betweenness’, as we perceived it is embodied very specifically into the unclear demographics, urbanistic layout, layered architecture and other physical elements bearing scars of war, all making up the city’s hexis. 
  • Sarajevo could be associated with Foucault's notion of heterotopia, 'a space of otherness, where mismatched objects come together'. (Saco 2002:14) There are several landmark-buildings to be found in Sarajevo, onto some of them, the war has layered different meanings, others becoming landmarks due to the war. We have chosen to focus on a few of these rather than the hexis in its entirety due to the fact they are important and relevant to the identity of the city, but also due to time constraints.
  • Through armed conflict, important buildings that hold the city’s cultural heritage; places of which held the history and personality of the city, are targeted. Examples of such places are the Olympic Museum and the National and University Library.
  • The term “warchitecture” emerged in Sarajevo as a name for the catastrophic destruction of architecture during the siege. Blurring the conceptual border between “war” and “architecture”, the term provides a tool to critique dominant accounts of wartime architectural destruction.
  • QUOTE:The destruction comprised “both violence against architecture and those who inhabited architecture” -over ten thousand people were killed and over sixty thousand were injured during the siege.Herscher writes that the images of architectural ruination bore a complicated relation to the siege. For on some occasions these images “seemed to substitute for images of the injured and the dead, on other occasions, they seemed to conjure their presence”.
  • The Bosnian Serb army always claimed that it was individual buildings which were destroyed, not the entire city and as “military necessity” or through “collateral damage” – the two predominant terms for legitimate violence against architecture and civilians. But the citizens of Sarajevo experienced it as a deliberate targeting of the same civic spaces, and hence beyond the scope of military necessityAs warchitecture, destruction comprises both a targeting of culture and a cultural form in itself. The destruction tends to target buildings of heightened collective significance which possess symbolic value for the targeted national, ethnic, or religious group. Such examples in Sarajevo could include the National Library, or the museums and schools which were targeted during the siege.
  • In terms of the ‘revival’ of the cultural heritage, digital reproductions and their dissemination through traditional and new media play an important role in the reconstruction of cultural heritage.Digital reproductions of these places are a modern form of cultural heritage. As the original artefacts and architectures were destroyed, they are presented to audiences through new media in the form of virtual museums, digital photographs and videos. A virtual museum of the Siege of Sarajevo was produced by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Sarajevo and Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina which offers an extended interaction with the history by providing interactive elements and video footage, enabling users to learn about the event and experience it to some extent for themselves. An attempt here is made to reconstruct the cultural heritage through digitization, though according to Benjamin Walters (2008), it is lacking many elements of the real experience.Walter, in his book ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ argues strongly that any reproductions of the Siege of Sarajevo cannot truly represent the trauma experienced by collectives, and a true reproduction is unachievable as the physical presence and the emotions are not present. He states that:QUOTE
  • The reason why we have chosen to end our account of Sarajevo with liminality is because it seems there is a kaleidoscopic type of liminality which encompasses most aspects of the city’s life. Liminality is a concept coined by Arnold Van Gennep and later revived by Victor Turner. Coming from Latin ‘limen’ meaning threshold, it explains the state of being on the threshold, or ‘betwixt and between’ (Turner 1967)Geographically, the country and its capital are both eastern and western. Culturally, Sarajevo’s heritage is made up of the diverse cultures of Bosnians, Serbs, Croats, Jewish people and Gypsies. They sometimes speak different languages and are, among other religions, Muslim, Orthodox, Catholic or Jewish. Politico-economically, it is a city which has been under various influences and occupations: from the Ancient Roman Empire to the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian, to socialist ex-Yugoslavia. Architecturally, Sarajevo is built in a number of styles, both Western and Eastern, which are layered around the city. From an abstract point of view, it could also be said that the city is liminal: a city bearing traits of both life and death, of war and reconstruction.
  • We are not the only ones to have perceived the multifaceted liminality of the city. Melanie van der Hoorn talks about an architectural liminality that has been already mentioned. The war on architecture projected a sense of liminality over the city as ‘despite the fact that in Sarajevo no buildings were totally destroyed, the suggestion of definitive erasure, nonetheless, constantly hung over the city as a sword of Damocles’ (2009: 58).
  • Some of these buildings are still in ruin in the heart of Sarajevo as mentioned above. They create liminality no longer by threatening with complete destruction, but by reminding that the city is not yet healed, still in a process of reconstruction. 
  • Another type of liminality is social, cultural and politico-geographical, described by AmilaButurovic’s analysis of Bosnian literature. She states that ‘Bosnia’s undetermined geopolitcal alignments have been [... a] result if its geographical position, especially as regards different imperial occupations. Connecting the central Balkan and Alpine regions on the east-west trajectory while also opening up to the sea on the north-south axis, Bosnia Herzegovina is not perceived as anyone’s destination but an artery’ (2009: 37).Although liminality ‘suggests flotation and mutability, a fragility of the self as it evaluates its symbolic and social meaning, Bosnia’s liminality is territorially fixed and historically continuous’ (2009: 39)What is more, liminality in this case is not ‘an absence of selfhood’ but rather a flexibility and adaptability of this selfhood ‘despite, or perhaps, thanks to, its harsh historical conditions’ – and may we add- its harsh spatial conditions as well. (2009: 43).QUOTE
  • QUOTELast, but not least, Sarajevo is experiencing a more recent type of liminality as described by Melich (2005): That of a post-communist culture, which is ‘constantly in the making’ (2005: 117). He explains the process in which contradictions such as striving for the better while the living standards are low have to be overcome, as well as building up a non-socialist system where all its politicians are trained in a socialist environment. Melich argues this is a long-winded process and the fact that Sarajevo is still in the process of reconstruction after the war, as well as part of a disputed territory renders this process more complicated, also complicated the city’s liminal character.
  • As stated at the beginning of the presentation, this project has been based on our primary and secondary resources and subjective positions as researchers. We do not claim to have formed any definitive conclusion, merely present evidence as accurately as possible and suggest conceptual ideas in order to make sense of complex situations. However we would like to make a final note on the rewarding challenging and unforgettable experiences within the city. Rewarding due to the knowledge we gained regarding the cultures of Sarajevo and the people encountered whom were continuously honest and welcoming. Challenging as due to form of perspectives of a city in the wake of bloodshed. We were forced to look at our subject to position as students emerged in a western culture, due to formal ideas of the city, proving to be distorted.
  • Finally, unforgettable as it was most unlike we were to visit Sarajevo in any circumstance other than the requirements of this project, the stories we encountered were extraordinary and humbling to say the least and the city itself with all its history’s and complexities remains and intriguing and beautiful city.
  • We hope the presentation has been informative we are now happy to receive and answer questions you may have. Thank-you for your time.
  • Trauma of Conflict

    1. 1. Living in the Digital World 3: Global and International
    2. 2. Project OverviewExamine and argue the case of today’sCulture of Trauma through;• Considering how a national identity can be constructed or imagined through the bloodshed of war• Looking at political, social histories, post war reconstruction• Exploring Western/alternative representations of the war through culture and media.
    3. 3. Ethics & Sensitivity “It is essential to recognize the importance of participating with the observed on a ‘simply human’ level…he must share…sentiments and feelings with the observed on a sympathetic level.” School procession celebrating (Shwartz andIndependence Day (29-02-2012) Shwartz 1955: 147).
    4. 4. Research Question“How is the Trauma of conflict influenced bysocio-cultural, geographic and politicalfactors and how it is reflected in western &indigenous forms of new and traditionalmedia?”
    5. 5. Methods Secondary resources: -Historical/Cultural Artefacts -Theoretical Texts -News articles -Documentaries -Online sources“The sudden change of ambience in a street within the space of a fewmeters; the evident division of a city into zones of distinct psychicatmospheres; the path of least resistance which is automatically followedin aimless strolls (and which has no relation to the physical contour of theground) ; the appealing or repelling character of certain places- all thisseems to be neglected” (Debord 1995: #6).
    6. 6. Methods Primary Research: -Unstructured/Informal - Interviews -Participant Observation -Debord and the Derive Detail and perceptions ofof & city space Responses are open ended Sarajevo Evaluate keyto nature the informal Best suited features Project“Within field research for the greater part of his informationthe investigator must find his own witnesses, induce them totalk, and embody the gist of this oral testimony on his sheetof notes. This is the Method of the Interview, or ‘conversationwith a purpose, a unique instrument of the socialinvestigator” (Webb and Webb 1932: 130)
    7. 7. History of Conflict in Bosnia & HerzegovinaThe bridge that changed the world – Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand wasassassinated on this bridge, sparking off World War I. An epitome ofSarajevo’s long history of conflict.
    8. 8. Josip Broz Tito: Dual Perception (1945-1980)Tito, a savior….-Yugoslavia’s nostalgia: unityand identity-Represented freedom andindependence during WWIIand the Cold War-High standard of living Josip Broz Tito
    9. 9. Josip Broz Tito: Dual Perception (1945-1980)Tito, a dictator-Serbian matter-Internal Demarcation-False democracy Former Yugoslavia
    10. 10. From Former Yugoslavian State to an Undecided Fate For some, it is difficult to imagine how the war started. Simplistically explained, after the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina began acting towards independence, which was favoured by all except the Serbian Party. Prof. MirkoGraffiti on a Sarajevan wall Pejanovic explains how thisreading ‘legal criminals! honor?’’ was the spark igniting all the underlying differences.
    11. 11. Refusal of Acceptance …destruction of the statehood of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its ethnic division.
    12. 12. Trauma and ConflictJeffrey Alexander (2003) –Trauma is a scientificconcept that occurs whenthe identity of a collective ischanged, which imprints onthe memory of thecollective as a result ofdisastrous events, in thiscase; the Siege of Sarajevo. Headstone in the Jewish Cemetery, the main Sniper quarter during the Siege (02-03-12)
    13. 13. Trauma Through Remembrance One of the walls surrounding the old Yugoslavian National Army Barracks. DOSTA means enough, while PAZI, METAK! means look out, bullet. Sniper Alley, (29-02-12)
    14. 14. Distraction of Well-being “To what extent does the experience of a severely damaged built environment, the overwhelming sight of so many wrecked buildings, emphasize and contribute to creating and intensifying trauma? How do people cope with these concrete embodiments of conflict and S. Looking at a list of victims of the violence?” (Hoorn, M.D:Siege that he almost died in (02-03-12) 2009)
    15. 15. Trauma as Experienced During the Field Trips Bomb that killed 67 civilians in Sarajevo central Market. Encased in glass, it’s still kept in itsLife and death juxtaposed: war original state; behind, a memorial wall has beenmemorial and lively market built.
    16. 16. Sarajevo in the New York Times & Guardian“…the new way of life has come with the first tenuoussteps towards peace, and all around the Bosnian capitalthere are signs that the city is beginning to blossom againwhile destitution and fear are on the wane. “Repairs havebegun on shells holes, and work is being done on thetrolley system and then pipes that it is now hoped willsoon pump gas into Sarajevo’s homes. Electricity isexpected by the end of the month.” (New York Times,1995)
    17. 17. Sarajevo in the New York Times & Guardian“While the city still shows the damage of war, with shrapnel-pocked walls and ruined buildings, much has been rebuilt. Themuch-shelled Holiday Inn has been reincarnated, bright as achild’s Lego tower, in blocks of vivid yellow. The airport, wherepassengers used to be warned to sit on their flak jackets fortakeoff and landing in case of upward-aimed sniper fire, has asmart new terminal. Sycamore and birch saplings line thestreets, replacing trees that were cut down for fuel during thecruel winters of the siege.” (The Guardian, 2002)
    18. 18. Indigenous Representation- Sarajevo Conference“Courage, sustainability, selforganisation, of the SarajevoResidents received the supportof the entire European and theworld. Solidarity came fromnumerous European countriesand democratic governments,influenced the creation ofpublic opinion, which putexerted additional pressure onthe leading world powers toinsist on lifting the siege of Sarajevo conference, 29 February-1Sarajevo” (Prof Dr. Mirko March 2012Pejanovic)
    19. 19. Main Points Expressed “…the international community were blind and deaf, especially the European countries like France, Great Britain and Germany. They pursued absolute illegitimate policy to allow the Serb forces to kill as many people as they wanted, while the protection forces did not intervene at any time to protect the lives of the civilians or their property, although it was their primary function and although they had mandate to act and stop the war activities” (Prof. dr. Muhamed Filipovic: 2012). UNIVERSITY OF SARAJEVO
Sarajevo conference, 29 February-1 March 2012
    20. 20. Edward Said: AppliedAll cultures have a view ofother cultures that maybe exotic and harmless tosome extent……when this view is takenby a militarily andeconomically dominantculture against another asit can lead to disastrousresults. Edward Said- Writer of ‘Orientalism’
    21. 21. City Habitus and Hexis BodySoul
    22. 22. “Topography of Life and Death. It is the only Map in the world that has made a visual reference to the tragedy of a besieged European city at the end of 20th century” (‘By virtue of being the most remote western frontieroverlooking the east, and the eastern overlooking the west,Bosnia has always been the crossroads of different interestsand the dividing line of various influences’ (Dizdar. M: 2002)
    23. 23. Habitus and HexisBombing scar on apartment building in Sarajevo
    24. 24. Mismatched Objects Come Together Bosnia as part of Greater Serbia (aspiration) according to the Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars. (1914)
    25. 25. Cultural Heritage Significant buildings that hold the cities cultural heritage; places of which held the history and personality of the city, were targeted and destroyed. (Marple-Cantrell: 2008)Sarajevo’s University Library in ruins
    26. 26. “Warchitecture”…a name for the catastrophic destruction of architectureduring the 1992-1996 siege of the city. (Herscher, A: 2008)
    27. 27. “Warchitecture”“It is not only my worldthat has been destroyedbut language as well. Alibrary, for example, is nolonger a building filledwith books but a burnt-outruin” (SemezdinMehmedinovic: 1999)
    28. 28. “Warchitecture”Hospital that was bombed and sniped at during the siege, which is against military rules
    29. 29. Reproduction of Cultural Heritage in Digital Media“Even the most perfectreproduction of a work of art islacking in one element: itspresence in time and space, itsunique existence at the placewhere it happens to be... Thisincludes the changes which itmay have suffered in physicalcondition over the years as wellas the various changes in itsownership… it is impossible toperform on a reproduction…” Virtual Museum- Reproduction of(Walter: 2008) Cultural Heritage
    30. 30. Liminality‘By virtue of being the most remote western frontier overlooking theeast, and the eastern overlooking the west, Bosnia has always been thecrossroads of different interests and the dividing line of variousinfluences’ (Dizdar, M:2002).
    31. 31. Architectural LiminalityRuined building on the outskirts of The Oslobodenje building rebuilt Sarajevo into a hotel
    32. 32. Liminality Ruined building in the centre of SarajevoThe Yugoslavian National Army Barracks, still in ruin in Sarajevo
    33. 33. ‘Not a long distance from here [Istanbul] there is a province sobackward that you can hardly imagine. Just over there […] yourbrothers live like beggars. We belong to no one, we are always in atwilight zone, always used as someone’s dowry. Is it then surprising thatwe are so poor? For centuries, we’ve been trying to find and defineourselves, and it seems that soon we will not even know who we are.We are already forgetting what we want because others are doing usthe favour of leading us under their banner since we don’t have ourown. Others tempt us to join […] and then they simply dispose of us. Thesaddest province in the world, the saddest people in the world. We’velost our face without being able to fake someone else’s. We areabandoned without being adopted, which alienates us from everyone,including those who are our own kinsfolk, yet they don’t consider us assuch. We live in the frontier of different worlds, in the border zones ofother peoples’ lands. We are always in someone’s way, always led bysomeone else, always guilty to someone. The waves of history breakagainst us, as waves break against the cliffs. We are revolted with thosein power, so we’ve created virtue out of our misery and become nobleout of defiance’ (Mesa Selimovic : 47)
    34. 34. Complication of Liminal Character‘If you play with lines on the map of Europe, you will have to find Sarajevo. It isrevealed where the lines cross over the Balkans. First, you draw a line fromParis, through Venice and then to Istanbul, and it is the closest East that Europehas ever known. A second line starts in Northern Europe, goes between Berlinand Warsaw, through the Mediterranean and then to Africa. These lines meetover Bosnia and Herzegovina. In fact, they cross over Sarajevo.’ (SarajevoSurvival Guide: 45)
    35. 35. To Conclude… Project has been based on to position and Looked at our subject our primary as secondary resources and subjective positions as students emerged in a western culture researchers The stories we encountered were extraordinaryChallenging as due to formitself with all its of and humbling and the city of perspectives a city in the wake of bloodshedhistory’s and complexities remains and intriguing and beautiful city We do not claim to have formed any definitive The cultures of Sarajevo and the people conclusion encountered were continuously honest and welcoming
    36. 36. References• Alexander, Jeffrey C. (2003) Meanings of Social Life : A Cultural Sociology. Oxford University Press, USA.• Brooks, G. (2002) ‘Back to life’. The Guardian. [online] 5 February. Available from < > [29 April 2012]• Burgess, GR (1991) Field Research; A Sourcebook and Field Manual, Routeledge, London• Central Intelligence Agency (2012) The World Fact book: Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina [online] available from < > [25 April 2012]• Debord, G E (1955) Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography, Les Levres Nues #6• Filipovic, M (2012) Relevance and the Role of the Defense of Sarajevo during the war against the Serbian and Croatian Aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina, International Scientific Conference; Political and Military Relevance of the Defense of Sarajevo 1992-1995• Friedman, A. (1996) ‘$5 Billion Question Worries Aid Planners : Rebuilding Bosnia. The New York Times. [online] 20 February. Available from<> [29 April 2012]• Hedges, C. (1999) ‘Sarajevo Is at Peace, but Its Old Zest Is Lost’. The New York Times. [online] 10 August. Avalible from < > [29 April 2012]• Herscher, A. (2008) ‘Warchitectural Theory’. Journal of Architectural Education. 35-43• Hoorn, M. D (2009) Indispensable Eyesores: An Anthropology of Undesired Buildings (Remapping Cultural History). Berghahn Books.• Kifner, J. (1994) ‘Sarajevo Cleans Up, Trolleys Roll, But It Remains a City Under Siege’ The New York Times. [online] 10 March. Available from< > [29 April 2012]• Marple-Cantrell, K (2008) Phoenix or Phantom: Residents and Sarajevo’s Post-War Changes. Columbia, Columbia University.• Roane, K. (1995) ‘Sarajevo Streets Are Humming Happily Again’ The New York Times. [online] 2 October. Available from <> [29 April 2012]• Report of the International Commission ( 1914 ) Map of Greater Serbia Including Bosnia’s Territory. [online] available from <> [01 May 2012]• Saco, D (2002) Cybering Democracy: Public Space and the Internet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press• Said, E W (1978) Orientalism, Routeledge, St Ives• Sarajevo Official Website (2010) Demography. [online] available from < > [25 April 2012]• Schwartz, M S, Schwartz C G (1955) Problems in Participant Observation, American Journal of Sociology, vol 60, no.4 pp718-26• Sudetic, C. (1994) ‘U.S. Renews Pledge to Aid Bosnias Recovery After Peace Pact’. The New York Times. [online] 31 March. Avalible from <> [29 April 2012]• Walter, B (2008) ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’. Translated by Underwood, JA. Penguin Publications.• Webb, S, Webb, B (1932), Methods of Social Study, Longmans Green, London Field trip conducted managed by Louise and Chanelle &Margoux. Archive by: Sabina, Helen, Ravinder, Marie
    37. 37. Thank youfor listening