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  []

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  []

The Politics of Forgiveness and Bearing Witness after a Genocidal War: Three Short Films from Bosnia-Herzegovina

One way to distinguish short films from feature length films is to point out that they are shorter. There are also other ways to distinguish short films. Short films are non-commercial, allowing a greater degree of artistic freedom. Short films are like paintings, photographs, or poems in terms of their structure and content. They capture an unforgettable moment, share an  []

A Reflection on the Survival of Fahrudin Meminović

It is difficult to understand the executioners of the genocide in Srebrenica. What were they doing? Why were they doing it? What were they thinking? How could they have done what they did? In Srebrenica MCMXCV [2017], Emir Suljagić recounts a testimony from an executioner told to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia after a massacre near Srebrenica  []

Pictures from March of Peace, 2019

With heartfelt thanks to PD “Horizont” Bihać 2006 and Edin Delić and Anel Osmanović from Lukovac     Marš Mira on Wikipedia    Essay on Marš Mira by Keith Doubt in Berfrois    

Political Reflection on Đorđe Balašević’s Ballad, “Ne Lomite Mi Bagrenje”

“Don’t Break my Locus Trees” is a popular ballad frequently heard today in cafes and on the radio in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia. Listeners from different ethnic communities, young and old, identify with Đorđe Balašević’s bitter-sweet song. The pathos of the ballad’s moral lament rings true for the inhabitants of the poly-ethnic society of former-Yugoslavia. Vinko Tadić and Goran Đurđević  []

Announcing the Translation of Spies

Derviš Sušić’s Spies was translated into English by Amira Sadiković and recently published by the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The novel, part of the canon of Bosnian literature, is a series of notes written by spies or about spies stretching across the long and complex history of Bosnia-Herzegovina. A spy tries to know the country  []

In Memoriam – Omer Hadžiselimović

Omer Hadžiselimović lost his battle with a difficult disease. He was born in Sarajevo on January 1, 1946. He completed his PhD at the University of Sarajevo in 1978. He had numerous research visits to many universities and institutes across the world including Oxford University in England, Zagreb University in Croatia, Belgrade University in Serbia, JFK Institute in Berlin, Germany,  []

Bosnia and Job

I went to a conference in Bosnia in July and talked with friends in Sarajevo about the social and political situation in the country. During the war, some eighteen years ago, people in Bosnia suffered war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Nationalist politicians leading the neighboring countries of Croatia and Serbia were directly responsible for these war crimes, crimes  []

Elopements of Bosnian Women

In a study of families and marriage practices carried out before World War II in what was called the Kingdom of Yugoslavia at that time, Vera Stein Erlich described a distinctive feature of marriage in Bosnia. She said that “In patriarchal regions [referring to Montenegro, Macedonia, and Serbia] the bride was chosen almost exclusively and autonomously by the parents of  []

On the Political Significance of Ratko Mladić’s Rhetoric

General Ratko Mladić, commander-in-chief of the Bosnian Serb Army, entered Srebrenica on July 11, moments behind the first Serb soldiers, accompanied by a television crew. “We present this city to the Serbian people as a gift,” Mladić said, speaking to the camera. “Finally, after the rebellion of the Dahis, the time has come to take revenge on the Turks in  []

Solipsism Narrated Magnanimously: Reflections on Death and the Dervish

“Malodušnost” is the Serbo-Croatian word that Henry Cooper uses to describe the subject of Meša Selimović’s novel, Death and the Dervish in his preface to the novel. Faintheartedness and moral cowardice translate the Serbo-Croatian word adequately, but its transliteration—small or diminished soul—adds as well to our understanding of the word’s meaning and the novel’s subject. Ahmed Nuruddin, the novel’s protagonist,  []

The Greek Spirit in the Poetry of Mak Dizdar

Outside of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the poet Mak Dizdar is relatively unknown. Modern anthologies from Croatia and Serbia seldom include the poet. While Dizdar is included in the anthology, Contemporary Yugoslav Poetry, he is refered to as “a Croatian poet.” Dizdar was born in 1917 in Stolac, Bosnia-Herzegovina and died in 1971. His pen-name, Mak, meaning “poppy,” is a pseudonym, which he  []

Destructive Secrets and Destructive Consequences: Carla Del Ponte and the World Court Decision

The recent decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to not hold Serbia directly responsible and accountable for the genocide that occurred in Bosnia-Herzegovina is troubling and disappointing. The decision strengthens the cynical perception of the international community obstructing Bosnia-Herzegovina’s need for justice to rebuild a stable and unified society. In 1995, the Dayton Peace Agreement fractured Bosnia-Herzegovina into  []

Pictures Of Stecaks With Quotations From Literary and Other Works

Pictures Of Stecaks With Quotations From Literary and Other Works

Mission Statement

One over-looked casualty of the war in Bosnia is her collective commitment to a pluralistic, tolerant, integrated society. Unconscionable violence and vicious propaganda were brought to bear against her heritage, cultural convictions, social practices, and civic order––making it next to impossible for Bosnia to sustain her multi-confessional and syncretistic-informed traditions. Tone Bringa, author of Being Muslim the Bosnian Way, writes,  []