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Social Justice Art - In the Balkans: Home

Artists and artwork from Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia

Background

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country in eastern Europe, part of a region known as the Balkans. The region is also formerly known as Yugoslavia. Balkan countries lie in the path of many empires over the centuries that have left their mark on today's population. As far back as the 1400s when the Ottoman Empire established rule over the area now known as Bosnia, today's culture is marked by distinct identities based upon religious and ethnic heritages. Bosnia is 45% Muslim, 20% Orthodox Christian, 20% Catholic 10% Jewish, and the rest undetermined. The Muslim majority has been under attack by nationalist leaders who justify ethnic cleansing and genocide as tools to establish dominance within the region. As recently as 1995 there were atrocities committed against Bosnians by Serbian (Orthodox Christians) and Croatians (Catholics), even though the three groups have lived side by side for centuries. It was only until the 20th century and negative attitudes arose towards Islam that it became a liability to practice the Muslim faith.

Social Justice Art in the Balkans

Art during Communist times

Art During the Balkans War 1992-1995

https://youtu.be/vsoB8Py8DYc?list=PLYKIVVSjjIxfYU2bACDt3krinfx6pb0wv

Resources

Reading List
WHY BOSNIA? Writings on the Balkan War
Edited by Rabia Ali & Lawrence Lifschultz. Stony Creek, Conn.: Pamphleteer Press, 1993

Excellent collection of essays, articles and poetry on Bosnia, very much from the Bosnian advocacy point of view, ranging from work by Christopher Hitchens and David Rieff, and a Vanity Fair piece, to articles by Balkan writers like Ivo Banac, Slavenka Draculic, and Kemal Kurspah destruction of a multinational and multi-cultural political entity and society. A key text and an ideal starting point. A portion of proceeds will go to a fund for the reconstruction of Sarajevo's National Library.

THE FALL OF YUGOSLAVIA: THE THIRD BALKAN WAR
By Misha Glenny. New York: Penguin Books, 1994.

A journalist give his first-hand glimpse into the mentality, personalities and behaviors of the leaders of the Balkan Wars. Excellent on history and politics. Virtually unique in the evenhandedness of its perspective.

SARAJEVO: A WAR JOURNAL
By Zlatko Dizdarevic. Preface by Joseph Brodsky. New York: Fromm International, 1993.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: ATLAS OF WAR AND PEACE
With special reports by correspondents of The New York Times. Maps by the Bertelsmann Cartographic Institute. New York: Macmillan, 1996.

A WITNESS TO GENOCIDE
By Roy Gutman. New York: Macmillan, 1993.

Compiled from the reporter's Pulitzer Prize-winning Newsday articles on Serb "ethnic cleansing" and genocide in Bosnia. From November 1991 to June 1993, Gutman chronicles the progress of an abomination: freight trains packed with helpless human beings; the tortured, raped, and mutilated bodies; death camps; and a section of the systematic destruction of culture (pp. 77-83): "Unholy War: Serbs Target Culture and Heritage of Bosnia's Muslims." An indispensable reminder of the nature of the war.

SARAJEVO DAILY: A CITY AND ITS NEWSPAPER UNDER SIEGE
By Tom Gjelten. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

LETTERS FROM SARAJEVO: VOICES OF A BESIEGED CITY
By Anna Cataldi. Foreword by Roy Gutman. Rockport, Mass.: Element, 1994.

BOSNIA: A SHORT HISTORY
By Noel Malcolm. New York: New York University Press, 1994.

THE BRIDGE ON DRINA
By Ivo Andrich (1892-1975). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977.

An epic, graphic and frightening novel by a Nobel Prize-winning author, the story of the Serbs' centuries-long, often brutal subjugation and occupation by Turkish invaders, now sometimes used as a justification for Serbian nationalism and retribution against Bosnian Muslims.

GENOCIDE IN BOSNIA: THE POLICY OF 'ETHNIC CLEANSING'
By Norman Cigar. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1995.

THE BALKAN EXPRESS: FRAGMENTS FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF WAR
By Slavenka Drakulic. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.

HABITS OF THE BALKAN HEART: SOCIAL CHARACTER AND THE FALL OF COMMUNISM
By Stjepan G. Mestrovic, with Slaven Letica and Miroslav Goreta. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1993.

SUMMER IN THE BALKANS: LAUGHTER AND TEARS AFTER COMMUNISM
By Randall Baker. West Hartford, Conn.: Kumarian Press, 1994.

THE IMPOSSIBLE COUNTRY: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE LAST DAYS OF YUGOSLAVIA.
By Brian Hall. London: Secker & Warburg, 1994.

A PAPER HOUSE: THE ENDING OF YUGOSLAVIA
By Mark Thompson. New York: Pantheon Books, 1993.

SARAJEVO: EXODUS OF A CITY
By Dzevad Karahasan. New York: Kodansha America, 1994.

SARAJEVO: A PORTRAIT OF THE SIEGE
Essays and Photos. New York: Warner Books, 1994.

BROKEN BONDS: YUGOSLAVIA'S DISINTEGRATION AND BALKAN POLITICS IN TRANSITION
By Lenard J. Cohen. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1995. (Second edition.)

THE BALKANIZATION OF THE WEST
By Stjepan G. Mestrovic. London and New York: Routledge, 1994.

MASS RAPE: THE WAR AGAINST WOMEN IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
Edited by Alexandra Stiglmayer. Foreword by Roy Gutman. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: A TRADITION BETRAYED
By Robert J. Donia and John V.A. Fine, Jr. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

ISLAM UNDER THE DOUBLE EAGLE: THE MUSLIMS OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, 1878-1914
By Robert J. Donia. Boulder: East European Quarterly, distributed by Columbia University Press, 1981

HISTORY OF THE BALKANS
Vol. 1, 18th and 19th Century; Vol. 2, 20th Century
By Barbara Jelavich. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

SERBS AND CROATS; THE STRUGGLE IN YUGOSLAVIA
By Alex N. Dragnich. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992.

ZLATA'S DIARY: A CHILD'S LIFE IN SARAJEVO (Journal de Zlata.)
By Zlata Filipovic. New York: Viking, 1994.

EUROPEAN MOSLEMS: ECONOMY AND ETHNICITY IN WESTERN BOSNIA
By William G. Lockwood. New York: Academic Press, 1975.

BALKAN GHOSTS: A JOURNEY THROUGH HISTORY
By Robert D. Kaplan. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993.

THE ROAD FROM PARADISE: PROSPECTS FOR DEMOCRACY IN EASTERN EUROPE
By Stjepan G. Mestrovic, with Miroslav Goreta and Slaven Letica. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1993.

BLACK LAMB AND GREY FALCON: A JOURNEY THROUGH YUGOSLAVIA
By Rebecca West. New York: Viking Press, 1956.

A vast, detailed, insightful memoir compiled during a lifelong love affair with the area, considered definitive for the time.

BALKAN BABEL: THE DISINTEGRATION OF YUGOSLAVIA FROM THE DEATH OF TITO TO ETHNIC WAR
By Sabrina Petra Ramet. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1996. (Second edition.)

DESTRUCTION OF YUGOSLAVIA: TRACKING THE BREAKUP 1980-92 
By Branka Magas. London and New York: Verso, 1993.

ETHNIC NATIONALISM: THE TRAGIC DEATH OF YUGOSLAVIA
By Bogdan Denitch. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994.

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE YUGOSLAV PEOPLES
By Fred Singleton. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

MY NATIVE LAND
By Louis Adamic (1899-1951). New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1943.

THE NATIONAL QUESTION IN YUGOSLAVIA: ORIGINS, HISTORY AND POLITICS
By Ivo Banac. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1984.

A LONG ROW OF CANDLES: MEMOIRS AND DIARIES, 1934-1954
By C.L. Sulzberger. New York: Macmillan, 1969.

"Go to the Balkans, Cyrus. That will be the most interesting place." Heeding the advice of a Czech head of state, Sulzberger embarked on a decades-long exploration of the region and was invariably the on-site chronicler of European history in the making. Substantial sections of this journalist's memoirs deal in detail with the former Yugoslavia. "For that was a fine time and a fine place to be," Sulzberger writes in his introduction.

FILMS & DOCUMENTARIES

The Perfect Circle
Grbavica:The Land of my Dreams(2006)
For Those Who Can Tell No Tales(2013)
No Man’s Land(2001)
An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker(2013)