Provocative Art Displayed on a Sarajevo Museum

A work of art protesting belated justice and the discrepancy between the proclaimed European ideals and their influence on the Balkan generations that grew up after the Yugoslav wars of the nineties is displayed on the History Museum in Sarajevo.

“Bosnian Girl 2” by artist and activist Smirna Kulenović is a photo of her standing in front of the European Union mission in Sarajevo and making an obscene gesture for the camera. The photo was taken in November 2017, on the day wartime military leader of Bosnian Serbs Ratko Mladić was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity by the UN court for war crimes committed in former Yugoslavia.

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The work is a reference to a 2003 piece by Šejla Kamerić. The original “Bosnian Girl” was a commentary on the role of the international peacekeepers in the Bosnian war. It features a derogatory graffiti about Bosnian women, written by a peacekeeper in the UN-designated Srebrenica safe area before the 1995 genocide.

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“Bosnian Girl 2” will be on display in Belgrade, Zagreb and Skopje this month. The History Museum in Sarajevo said the work is supposed to encourage a public discussion on the obstacles for coming to terms with a violent past that still affects the everyday life of people in the Balkans.

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