IVO ANDRIC-- AUTHOR OF TRAVNIK CHRONICLE (TRAVINIC HRONICA)
Ivo Andric, Yugoslavia's best-known writer, lived from 1892-1975. He was born in Travnik, Bosnia and lived in Belgrade for most of his life. In 1961 he won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in 1961. Travnik Chronicle was republished during the Bosnian war with a new English title, Bosnian Chronicle. It is better known by that name, however the actual translation and original title is Travnik Chronicle.
Bascarsija is the old Turkish Center of Sarajevo. The cobblestone streets are too narrow for cars. The sounds of peoples footsteps on the stones mix with the sound of water coming from the fountains at the beautiful Husref Bey Mosque. Traditional crafts such as metal work and slippers are sold in the stores and numerous restaurants serving traditional Bosnian food such as burek and cevapcici can be found.
BOSNIAN NATIONAL LIBRARY
The Bosnian National Library built by the Austrians at the turn of the 20th century is located right along the river, and was one of the city's most beautiful buildings. It held many rare volumes and was destroyed by Serbian bombing during the siege. While the artists in this workshop were working on this project, a film shoot took place at the library during which fire was simulated in the library with smoke and lights. In Paul Auster's book, In the Country of Last Things, the primary characters in a mythic city are living in a library that is ultimately burned. This book, with its remarkable resonance to the realities of Sarajevo during the siege, was widely read by Sarajevans.
Traditional Turkish meal of bread, onions and minced meat shaped like small sausages.
The Dayton Accord was the 1995 U.S.-brokered peace agreement that ended the Bosnian war but left the country divided along ethnic lines.
GEOGRAPHY 1 2
Sarajevo is a city in a valley surrounded by mountains. During the war, Bosnian Serb forces encircled the city from these vantage points. Snipers aimed their rifles towards the unprotected citizens on the streets and in their buildings. Mortars were lobbed into the city center from the hills resulting in numerous deaths and public massacres such places such as the bread line and the open market. Across these hills, in every direction, one can now see thousands of new tombstones, stark, white memorials to the estimated 10,000 people killed in Sarajevo during the war.
The Bosnian currency (Marka) is tied to the German Mark and marks can be used as easily as Bosnian money in Sarajevo. Bosnian money is not exchangeable outside the country.
THE HOLIDAY INN
The Holiday Inn is Sarajevo's largest hotel and was built for the winter Olympics of 1984 Located in the city center, it became the primary residence for journalists during the war. Because it sits on what became known as "Sniper Alley" and was directly exposed to fire from Serbian gunners, it was frequently hit by mortars and rockets and afforded a direct view of much of the conflict. People continued to stay there despite room-sized holes in the wall that allowed the snow and wind into the hotel.
MINARETS/MOSQUES 1 2
Traditional Turkish mosques found throughout Bosnia are built with tall minarets. Husref Bey Mosque is one of the largest and most elegant in Bosnia. It was built in 1531 for the Turkish governor, Gazi Husref Bey.
The "draft," or "promaha" in Bosnian, is the wind that blows through your house when two windows are open on opposite sides of the room. Any breeze, should it tangle with your hair, blow over bare feet or brush across your skin, is sure to make you ill. Any number of possible maladies are inevitable should you go out with damp hair, or let the draft come through the window and fall upon you. During the war in Bosni, when Sarajevo was under seige there was no heat in the buildings and the constant mortar bombardment shook all the glass from the window frames. Despite the plastic or boards used to cover these empty frames, the draft had free reign through the city. Some became paralyzed where the draft fell upon them...a cheek, a leg...and any number of colds and flu plagued the city. Thus, House of Drafts is vulnerable to the gifts and the dangers carried by the wind.
The Sarajevo river, the Miljacka, flows out of the mountains directly through the city. Numerous bridges cross over the river that is encased in a cement canal-like structure within the city's borders.
During the war, train travel was completely disrupted. To this day, the railway infrastructure is still so badly damaged that only one train a day comes into Bosnia's capital city, Sarajevo. There is a beautifully redesigned station maintained with a battalion of cleaners, but almost no travelers use the station.
During the siege there was no commercial air, train or bus travel into Sarajevo. A secret tunnel below the airport allowed weapons and the occasional individual passage in and out of the city. Residents who wanted to escape, had to dash across the airport runway above the tunnel. Despite this difficulty, Sarajevo residents were determined to Keep their artistic and cultural heritage alive by bringing exhibitions and artists to the city in the middle of war-time. A major exhibition of the work of Christian Boltanski traveled in crates in the middle of the siege and Susan Sontag directed a theater production of "Waiting for Godot" with a Sarajevo theater company.
Vrelo Bosna is the spring from which the Bosna River flows. This idyllic tree-shaded park has pathways and foot-bridges around the spring and the ponds that surround it. Families come to picnic and horse drawn carriages can be hired to ride around the perimeter. Just across the road are barbed wire fences and signs warning of live mines to prevent families from wandering into the mine fields left from the war.
Water was a very precious commodity during the war. Because the city's plumbing was destroyed in the shelling, people lined up for hours just to fill up a bucket or two that often had to be carried up many flights of stairs. On the rare occasions that water did come through the pipes, every conceivable container was filled and stored throughout the house.