VERONIKA YABLONSKA 30 BOSNIAN ARTISTS How they painted life, death, food and wandering and what we can learn from them If art is a mirror held up to nature, we are very welcome to look in it. How they painted life, death, food and wandering and what we can learn from them If art is a mirror held up to  []

Dušan Karpatský

(January 31, 2017 – January 31, 2024) In the rich history of Czech-Yugoslav cultural relations, few individuals have left as profound a mark as Dušan Karpatský, who passed away seven years ago. In stark contrast to the controversial reactions in the South Slavic region to his death, his associates, admirers and friends – particularly Andreja Stojković – organized, in that  []

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine . . . .

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Milorad Dodik has been systematically suspending the authority of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Republic of Srpska (RS) and paving the way for its secession. The Serb lawmakers have voted for the suspension of the rulings of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which some experts interpret as  []

Three Sirens*

for Christina Pluhar I let the sirens’ voices lead me and began a new day. Even not knowing the words I know this is how one sings of love and freedom.  We have run a long road, from morning to dark.  Régimes have changed as seasons do,  people fallen like leaves. Odysseus had been warned: Plug your ears, they’ll seduce  []

Interfaith Ritual Kinship in a Polyethnic Society: Review of the Film, “The Constitution”

The Constitution [Ustav Republike Hrvatske], a Croatian film written and directed by Rajko Grlić (2016), dramatizes how living together in a society challenged by interethnic hatred and homophobia requires interconnectedness and understanding. Seemingly intractable differences are unexpectedly reconciled at the end of the film through the cultural custom of ritual kinship known as kum or godfatherhood. The film’s inspired but  []

Snow has fallen on the fruit-tree blossoms

Snow has fallen on the fruit-tree blossoms. Let each one love who his heart desires. If she will not, let him not impose it. From imposing there can be no blessing. Were I lucky rather than unlucky, and might I come up into your chambers, I would sit there on your silken cushions like a pasha among his faithful stewards  []

Sunday morning in Ithaca

  The city opens up in the morning, when, giddy from sleep, it throws off the covers of night. It greets passers-by with a gap-toothed asphalt smile full of holes and fillings and hugs them with its enchanting tree-lined streets which aren’t so easy to categorize in English. But I adore sidewalks, even when they are humpbacked. They are the  []

Waiting For My Soul

for Dominika Křesťanová Dear Wayles, I’m back from a long journey.  Rain saw me off in Prague and greeted me in Syracuse.  Were the heavens lamenting my departure or my return?  Or was it just a normal change of location which I try to assign some emotional higher sense to?  The plane took off gently, pierced the Prague rain  and  []

The Land, the People, and the Language of Petar Kočić

I will not talk about all the aspects of Petar Kočić, but only about three elements from the life and work of Petar Kočić —the land, the people and the language, and how these three elements show up in his life and work and influence them. »The Bosnia vilayet is crisscrossed in all directions by wild mountains«. With these words  []

Through the Snowstorm

It was already getting dark, and yet they could not sell their cow. Hardly had anyone even looked at them, let alone asked for the price. Not even to joke about it! The old man was deeply saddened by this, and felt a great deal of pain, and had he  any tears left, he would have cried bitterly and despairingly.  []

The Battle of Simeun the Deacon

Stillness. Only the cauldron sizzles, and sometimes a spark bursts, then it scatters and goes numb as if in a rage. A heavy, suffocating smell of oil and incense wafts through the broken church windows and mingles with the tepid brandy odor that rises above the boiling cauldron. Tell me, Mićan – master Glišo shook himself as if in deep  []

Mission Statement

Spirit of Bosnia has been publishing quarterly since 2006. Spirit of Bosnia disseminates scholarly research and writing on the history, politics, and literature of Bosnia-Herzegovina to honor and preserve the long-standing traditions of social and civil order that created Bosnia’s heritage. Notable scholars such as Ivo Banac, Tone Bringa, Robert Donia, John Fine, Ivan Lovrenović, Rusmir Mahmutćehajić, Noel Malcolm and others provide  []

Magic Dead of Winter

For Petr Hruška Short days of a long winter, the sun blinds you worse than in midsummer. On the white snow, dotted with raccoon pawprints, falls the dark shadow of a pine trodden down by my ski tracks from yesterday. Nearby, footprints of a deer—lively traffic—if you can see it. This is no desert, as disparaging city folks claim, it’s  []

The French Cotton

On clear nights, a man can look to his heart’s content at that infinitely long starry way across the sky, so bright and mysterious, that is called Kum’s Hay. There is an ancient story that a kum had stolen some hay from his kum, and as he was carrying it, it started dispersing and leaving its trace after the kum.  []

Being Roma: Impressions of the Book “Cenotaph for the Murdered Roma from Tešanj” by Amir Brka

In April 2022, which today slips away from the being, but not the memory of the human individual, there were several dates of all three monotheistic faiths that rarely occur in exactly one month. Although in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it could be like that every month due to its religious interwinement that is forcibly unraveled by the butchers of Balkan  []

How a German Diplomat Jeopardizes Bosnian Democracy: A Controversial Intervention in the Balkan State’s Recent Elections Risks Empowering Nationalist Extremists

First Published in New Lines Magazine. Before Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine in February and the ensuing carnage against the country’s civilian population unleashed by Russian occupation forces, it was Bosnia and Herzegovina that held the dubious distinction of witnessing the deadliest war in Europe since 1945. For the nearly 30 years since the conclusion of the Bosnian War, the  []

Letter to Secretary of State Blinken

The Honorable Antony J. Blinken Secretary of State US Department of State 2201 C Street NW  Washington, DC 20520 Dear Secretary of State Blinken, We are writing to express our concern about High Representative Schmidt’s October 2 decision concerning the election law in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as its unsettling political consequences.  By High Representative Schmidt’s own account, his ill-timed  []

A Foucauldian Critique of the Dayton Accords: The Iron Cage of Surreality

The manifest function of the Dayton Accords was to stop the sociocidal war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a war that was killing the country’s society. The war was unconscionable and immoral bringing deaths and horrific consequences to the lives of many and their communities. The genocide in Srebrenica stood as the ignoble pinnacle of this war, but some argue, and this author  []

Human Rights Plaintiff: US-EU Election Plan for Bosnia Rewards Nationalist Agendas

This essay was originally published in Just Security. The Biden administration and European Union officials are barreling ahead in Bosnia with a politically expedient “fix” for the country’s electoral and political dysfunction. But the result would not only irrevocably damage my country and further undermine stability in the Western Balkans, it also would produce the opposite of one of the  []

I Find it Harder and Harder

to give a final shape to something. Not a single cup I scoop up water in, not a single jug I carry it in attains the balance between full and empty. Today I dare not do anything more than to weed the garden, rake up the words, throw them on the compost, and wait for spring to turn them over.  []