Idea, audience & concern

The idea for the book & blog project Bosnia in Berlin followed a panel discussion at the Berlin Science Week 2020 @ HU under the heading Remembering, Researching, Coming to Terms / Srebrenica in Berlin: Young Berliners from Bosnia or How Traumas Can Become Research Topics. There, five different perspectives of young women from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Germany came together.

Despite their different ages, diverse experiences and heritage, all speakers shared a commonality: both autobiographically and scientifically, they deal with the topic of the Bosnian war (1992-1995) and its role in their lives. The war came to an end more than 25 years ago, after it had reached a gruesome climax with the genocide of Srebrenica, in July 1995. This event and the Dayton Agreement were the occasions for the initial panel at the Berlin Science Week, organized by the Chair of South Slavic Studies at HU Berlin, moderated by the historian Thomas Schad. The conversation, which can be accessed via YouTube, has a total length of two hours. Yet, after the event, all participants had the feeling that their stories were far from being told. Encouraged by the great public interest and the positive feedback, the decision was made quickly: the urge to tell our stories to their end was to be followed up, and a multiperspective book should be written. Its working title became Bosnia in Berlin.

The book project is open to a mixture of different genres: through autobiographical, (semi-)fictionalized, essayistic, artistic, dialogical (interviews), and, in individual cases, also scientific contributions, the aim is to reach a mixed audience — ideally as broad and heterogeneous as possible. Individual memory fragments or stories about (pre-)war experiences, flight/refuge, arrival, adolescence, and finding a profession form the pieces of the mosaic which is supposed to become tha book. The book is envisioned as an oeuvre of a contemporary, multiperspective culture of remembrance that belongs to Berlin and Germany to the same extent as the famous Baščaršija belongs to the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

All authors decide themselves which forms of knowledge they shall share, and which ones they prefer to keep untold, untouched and for themselves. It is planned to have all contributions translated into the BKMS language (henceforth: Jezik*) and to publish the finished book in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well. The editorial team will try, as far as possible, to translate all contributions and the homepage’s meta-information into Jezik*. Until we find a better solution for a multilingual homepage-cum-blog, all posts on Jezik* will be available under the same category (to Jezik*).

[Cover picture: Sabrina Halilović, 2021.]