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Monday, 10 December 2012

Enduring Srebenica Past and Present

When I go to bed at night, all the memories and fears come back - and then I can get no peace.

Mejra Dogaz - 21 Nov 2010

The quote begins Claudia Heinermann's book, Enduring Srebenica, a book that maps of the aftershocks of the Srebenica massacre of .., and in so doing creates a narrative with multiple narrative, one that goes beyond the simple oppositions of one side against another or the simple attribution of blame with all the hypocrisy and self-deceit that inevitably involves.

In that sense, Enduring Srebenica, has a connection to Heinermann's earlier work Spuren/Traces, which details the excavation of the bodies of German soldiers from mass graves in Russia.

The visual language of mass graves is also there - the stacked coffins, the sheets of plastic, the bones laid out for forensic examination, the staring skulls, the layers of fabric, and the photographs and family traces that the dead/murdered have left behind.

There are interviews with the Dutch soldiers who were part of the mission that was ordered to withdraw - resulting in the men of Srebenica to be murdered:

....I still sleep badly and still have nightmares  and sometimes I have panic attacks and have to go outside... I hardly say that I have had a tough time: the people of Bosnia, they have had a really dreadful time.

Henry van den Belt - 9 May 2010

And of course interviews with the people whose family were killed in the massacre, with people who are experiencing the economic hardship of living in such a depressed environment.

We have 170 euros each month. When we have paid for everything, we have 25 euros left to buy food for seven children and two adults. If somebody gets ill and we have to buy medicine, then we will have a big problem.

Suhra Mustafic - 25 November 2010

I can't describe my feelings, as the words do not exist to do so. I can't sleep at night. I can't stop thinking and remembering. 

Habiba Masic - 14 April 2010

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