PETS WANDERING AROUND TOWN // 06. 1992.
AMELA VILIC // COSTUME DESIGNER
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT

June 1992

Amela Vilic
Costume Designer
PETS WANDERING AROUND TOWN

‘I remember one time, there was one dog, and he was a rare breed in Sarajevo - Russian wolfhound. He was extremely beautiful. I think he even won several awards before the war. We saw him at a garbage dump, terribly thin, in awful shape. My husband tried to catch him, but he probably had a lot of bad experiences. We weren’t able to catch him. I just wanted to have him, to take care of him, because he was truly beautiful. The dog that we had was pretty fat, I have to admit, but somehow we put aside enough of our food for him rather than for us. When a person has a dog, somehow they become related to each other. I wasn’t able to fathom how people could abandon their dogs.’

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JUNE 1992


• A home for the blind becomes a perch for armed Serb paramilitary troops.
• The JNA leaves the largest barracks, “Marsal Tito,” in the city center.
• Telephone connection cut: Sarajevo – the World.


• The citizens, shut in their apartment blocks and basements because of the unending shelling, begin organizing block events.
• The city faces severe food shortages. The local community creates a mini farm at Buljakov stream to survive.


• When the aggressor attacks Aerodromsko naselje citizens turn their radios up to the song, “Don’t give up, Bosnia!”


• The UN leads negotiations on reclaiming the airport, which is under the control of the JNA and Serb terrorists.
• Sarajevan psychiatrists give advice to citizens on how to mentally survive: establish as many contacts as possible, avoid isolation, show solidarity, share everything with others, and do as much as possible – invent tasks rather than sit with folded arms.
• Methadone runs out, a treatment for narcotics addicts.
• The electrical power system in BiH is divided up.
• The Presidency of BiH proclaims a state of war and general mobilization.
• Louis Mackenzie, UNPROFOR Commander, brokers a two day truce as a condition for opening the airport.
• The building of the "Oslobodjenje" newspaper burns, under heavy artillery attacks.
• JNA planes target the TV transmitter in Mostre near Visoko, in the vicinity of Sarajevo.
• Serb paramilitary troop expel Muslim and Croat citizens from the Sarajevo suburb of Ilidza.


• The President of the Presidency of BiH announces that he will leave for a conference in Strasbourg on April 25 if the airport is opened and if UNPROFOR secures the road to the airport.
• Before the conference in Strasbourg, special units of MUP petition against a cantonized and divided Bosnia.
• The Public Prosecutor’s Office of BiH in Sarajevo issues a ban on the SDS. The proceedings are initiated by the Center for Antiwar Activities and the Prosecutor’s office makes the ruling.
• SDS barricades halt BiH Olympians on their way to the Olympic Games in Barcelona.
• "Gras" tram conductors transport Sarajevans, and a fifth column inquires as to the departure times of trams which are then told to SDS terrorists so that they can fire upon them fro the hills.
• Klaus Kinkel, the German Foreign Minister, feels helpless rage and falls into a deep depression over the inability of the international community to help Bosnia and Sarajevo.
• Strasbourg, June 25, 1992. A summit on BiH begins in Strasbourg. Presiding over the summit is Lord Carrington. Participants: Haris Silajdzic, Slobodan Milosevic and Franjo Tudjman.
• Waiting for a ceasefire before opening the airport, Louis Mackenzie: the BiH government has an effective military in the city, while the Serbs state they will not fire at civilian targets, meaning they can fire at military targets.
• Sarajevans, being heavy smokers, smoke a variety of types of cigarettes in the besieged city; the healthiest are the KOKTEL cigarettes.
• MUP issues guidelines for safe movement in the city amid shelling and sniper fire.
• In the Sarajevo neighborhood of Alipasino polje, B block, a chess competition is held.


• The peace conference in Strasbourg collapses.
• Abandoned house pets roam the city because their owners have fled.
• Sarajevo′s “Velepekara” (mass bakery) no longer produces bread, the staple food of Sarajevo, because it lacks yeast.
• Table tennis players from Sarajevo go to Crkvenica to prepare for a European tournament.
• French President François Mitterand, makes a completely unannounced landing at the closed Sarajevo airport, and later goes on a tour of the besieged city. He visits the State and Military Hospitals, and on this visit resolves the crisis over the delivery of humanitarian aid, just as he later blocks eventual air strikes against Bosnian Serb positions.
• The Presidency decides to implement work quotas for all civilians.
• The blue UN flag flaps over the runway of Sarajevo airport, three minutes before the UN Security Council convenes at the deadline of the ultimatum given the Bosnian Serbs. The first planes carrying humanitarian aid arrive in Sarajevo.
• All contact with the outside world is cut off.
• New York, June 30, 1992. The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 761 which authorizes the Secretary General to employ UNPROFOR to establish the security and functioning of Sarajevo airport. Article 2 of the Resolution urges all parties to maintain an absolute and unconditional ceasefire.

Veterinarian’s Clinic

The Veterinarian’s Clinic is on Daniel Ozmo Street, in the store where they used to sell hi-fi equipment. Its hours are from 9 a.m. ad 2 p.m. Lines are very long and the service is full including very complex surgical operations. Sarajevo became the city of abandoned pedigree dogs who are sadly roaming the streets, frozen, hungry and wounded. Their owners have left Sarajevo and left them behind, or they don’t have food to even feed themselves.

Amela Vilic
She was born on the verge of Leo and Virgo in 1958 in Sarajevo, where she graduated the Academy of Fine Arts. She has been working as a theatrical, film and TV costume designer for the past 15 years. She designed costumes for some 30 theater plays, 10 TV serials and numerous TV shows, performances, happenings, fashion shows...

THE SIEGE
She worked as the costume designer for 15 theater plays and numerous TV shows. She created the sports uniforms of the Bosnian athletes at the Mediterranean Games, as well as uniforms for various institutions and organizations, a collection of children’s clothing...

It there were life after life, in what shape would you return?
I think like air.

How do you describe perfect happiness?
To do only what I love and want.

What is you biggest loss?
The death of my dad, and my dog Gustav.

What is your biggest gain?
A lot of small things that make me happy every day.

When and where were you happiest?
-

What are your lost illusions?
I thought that people have understood how wars were senseless and that they will simply never happen again. However, it happened to me, to us...

Describe your day at work.
Getting up at seven, and then work, work, work...

Sarajevo?
Sarajevo...my happiness, my love, my life, my sorrow, long sleepless nights...

What words don’t you use anymore?
-

In your opinion, is morale a virtue?
It seems that I have my own morale to which I stick, and I think this is my virtue, but I am not sure how much this resembles the so-called public morale.

Where would you like to live?
I would like to live somewhere near the sea in a small peaceful place, near a big city, in a house that I would design myself.

How have you survived?
Work and only work.

What are you afraid of?
Feelings...

Does the past exist for you?
Yes.

This is the end of a civilization. What will the next one be like?
Without any logic.

Can you give us a recipe for mental health?
Laughter and fucking around.

How would you like to die?
If I can chose, then may it be a quick death.

Do you need hope to live?
Yes, I am always hoping for something.

What did ’92 look like, and ’93, and ’94?
Terrible, sad, unbelievable.

How would you call this period of your life?
An investigating period.

Your message from the end of the world, from a country of last things?
Hold your hands tight so the wind doesn’t blow you away.

Do you like life, and what is life all about?
Of course I love it, all of these rises and falls, the new beginnings and happy endings.

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