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23 May 12

Sarajevo Days Presents Bosnian Culture in Belgrade

Dani Sarajeva introduces Bosnian artists to the Belgrade public in a showcase of regional cultural cooperation.

Nemanja Cabric
BIRN Belgrade
Opening of Dani Sarajeva | Photo by Beta/Vladimir Milovanovic

The sixth Dani Sarajeva (Sarajevo Days) festival kicked off on Tuesday night in front of around 50 people on the rain-soaked terrace of the Kalemegdan fortress, with the opening of an exhibition entitled “Sarajevo City Hall Revisited” by architect Nedzad Mulaomerovic.

The free outdoor exhibition, which will run for the duration of the festival, from May 23 to 26, presents various stages in the history of Sarajevo’s City Hall, a celebrated landmark that was destroyed by incendiary shells in 1992.

Built during the Austro-Hungarian era in the style of the late 19th century Moorish Revival, the building has served as city hall, court, parliament, and in its latest incarnation, library. Almost all of the arabesques, decorations, wall paintings were destroyed on August 25-26 1992, along with 70 percent of the two million books that were kept there.

Maja Micic of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights said on behalf of the festival organisers that all of the income from ticket sales in Belgrade will go towards the reconstruction of the city hall.

“Our duty is to inspire, provoke and remind people about the history of Sarajevo, as well as to rebuild relationships between our two cities,” Micic said.

Exhibition "Sarajevo City Hall Revisited" by Nedzad Mulaomerovic | Photo by Beta/Vladimir Milovanovic

The curator of the exhibition, Nedzad Mulaomerovic, explained that reconstruction work on the City Hall started in 1996 and the object is to recreate everything that was lost to the flames in 1992, down to the last detail.

“This exhibition represents an invitation to visit Sarajevo, and soon, its rebuilt City Hall,” said Mulaomerovic.

The four-day Dani Sarajeva festival features numerous theatre plays film screenings, concerts, exhibitions and public discussions.

The films “Sreca” (Happiness) and “1395 dana bez crvene”(1395 Days Without Red) by internationally-recognised artist Sejla Kameric will be screened on Wednesday evening in Dom Omladine. The latter is a homage to Sarajevo citizens who lived through the siege, when they were advised not to wear clothes in bright colours because this could draw the attention of snipers.

At the same time, the play “Sumnja” (Doubt) by Selma Spahic will be performed at the Yugoslavian Drama Theatre. Also part of the festival programme are "1984", "Hipermnezija", "99% (Strah i bijeda Trećeg rajha)" (99% or Fear and Misery of the Third Reich) and "Šta smo to učinili" (What Have We Done).

Also as part of the festival the bands Billy Andol, Sevdah Takht, and Sarajevo Drum Orchestra will give evening performances at various locations.

The full festival programme can be found here

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