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Video-pool: Edina Husanovic

The three-year siege of Bosnian cities during the 1990s war coloured every facet of everyday life of Bosnian citizens with a constant presence of death. Constant shelling and sniper fire turned the familiar urban landscape into a war zone. During this time of utter destruction of urban environment, the artistic production blossomed. A new, younger generation of artists emerged. They aimed not just to occupy public space but to make it their own in a meaningful way. Video became a social act of re-imagining and reclaiming urban space.

The home video of Pasic-Husanovic family is a window into a life of one family in Tuzla, a city in northeast Bosnia, during the 1992–1995 war. There are scenes of initial shock and attempts of ‘normalisation’, of trying to get used to life underground, in the dingy basements of apartment blocks which provided only safety from the heavy shelling. The video shows painting of the basements walls which becomes an attempt to create a ‘normal’, neighbourly, ordered existence inside the new shared living space, in the context of the utter destruction ‘outside’.

In Sarajevo Guided Tours, Austrian artist Isa Rosenberger uses video to give voice to young Sarajevans who take us on an alternative tour around Sarajevo in post-war times. Trough their stories we are led into their experience of Sarajevo in war times. The video shows how the fabric of this urban landscape is still enmeshed in the recent war experience. Sarajevo International by Croatian artist Kristina Leko presents the stories of the same city told by people who settled in Sarajevo in recent times. By giving voice to people on the street and by showing a diversity of views and backgrounds, both these videos act as an alternative to the mainstream and generalised portrayal of conflict in Bosnia.

Mi/Me by Adla Isanovic acts as perhaps the strongest challenge to the stereotyped view of the war experience. The voice of artist makes a series of contradictory statements, such as ‘I am artist, I am not traumatised ... I have lived through the war, I am not a hero’. The video is here used to construct an idea of self, different to the one generalised by the conventional view of the post-war political and social conditions in this area.

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Pasic-Husanovic Family/Vedad Pasic (camera)/Azra Husanovic (edit)
Home Video, 180:00, 1992–95, Bosnia Herzegovina

Isa Rosenberger
Sarajevo Guided Tours: a journey to a real and imagined place, 61:33, 2002, Austria

Kristina Leko
Sarajevo International: a video communication project, 122:50, 2001, Bosnia Herzegovina

Adla Isanovic
Mi/Me, 1:30, 2002, Bosnia Herzegovina

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