I have recently visited the United States for a conference, where I had the chance to meet a few very interesting people, and to get to know about two very interesting documentary projects that I would like to share with my readers.
They have in common both a focus on Bosnia and the choice of the internet as their main medium. I shall leave the discussion about the potential of the internet for innovative approaches into information, knowledge and art, and go on to present the projects.
The Betrayal of Srebrenica: a Commemoration (above one of the photos, showing a wall covered by the portraits of victims, at the Women of Srebrenica office, in Tuzla) was conceived by photographer Paula Allen and social scientist Lisa di Caprio, as a documentary photographic exhibit on occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Massacre of Srebrenica, and displayed in various locations as a conventional exhibit. A website was created to display its catalogue online, where everyone can access it, the goal with this project being to contribute to raise awareness about the genocide in Bosnia. I had already visited its website, but now that I got to know Lisa di Caprio, I thought it might be a good idea to link it here.
Balkan Express is the second project I came upon with. The website includes an essay film, ‘The Reed Trains‘, conceived by multimedia artist Amir Husak, with an essay by the writer Nihad Hasanovic; and an interactive documentary, ‘Dayton Express: Bosnian Railroads and the paradox of integration‘.
I am fascinated by this project, both by the essay film and the interactive documentary, which includes, among other things, old images of the Yugoslav trains and stations, music and videos, shown randomly on the section ‘Random Access History’; testimonies about the situation in Bosnia nowadays (including one by Jasmin Causevic, from Bihac, who blogs at Jasmin’s Heart-one of my favourite blogs), on the section ‘Future of the Past’; and a very interesting interactive map of the Bosnian railroads across entities.
With this project I got to realize, for instance, that although the train connection between Belgrade and Sarajevo has been re-establish, I will be wiser to keep taking the bus, as the railroad system in Bosnia closely reflects the de facto division of the country: every time entity lines are crossed, locomotives are changed, as is normal procedure when trains cross different countries. This project thus very clearly illustrates the challenges and obstacles facing a unified Bosnia.
In the end, what both projects combined have told me is that justice and development have to come hand in hand, for the sake of the future of Bosnia.