November 1992

Amela Vilic
Costume Designer

‘It is always good to make people happy, at least for a short while, to draw their attention away from the shells, from the general situation in the city. I remember the fashion show at the Holiday Inn very well. I think it went very well. Everything in the show was made from clear sheets of plastic from humanitarian aid. Otherwise the plastic was used only to cover broken windows, and nothing else, and it put me in a good mood when I heard that they were going to have a fashion show using that material. The clothing models were completely decent, and I have to admit that it entertained the people and made them happy.’



• In order for Sarajevans to join organized convoys that after a long delay have begun to leave the city, one needs to receive consent from the Sarajevo police, UN approval and consent from the Bosnian Serbs.
• Stjepan Kljujic, the BiH Presidency’s Croat member is forced to resign at the request of the HDZ, in favor of Miro Lasic, their new candidate.
• Sefer Halilovic, commander of the BiH Armed Forces, prohibits the departure of the convoy, but Pero Butigan, director of the Red Cross, insists that they are required to transport citizens. In the end, both convoys, one headed for Split and the other for Belgrade, manage to leave.
• Director Paul Masic makes the animated film "Coffee".
• "Sipad holding,” a factory for processing wood and producing furniture, possesses stores of wood that could be used for heating, but the question remains how it can be brought into Sarajevo. Wood shipments are stalled in Fojnica, Tarcin, Konjic ... all cities surrounding Sarajevo.
• Geneva, November 7th, 1992. In Geneva, during a conference on Bosnia, Radovan Karadzic, says that due to pressure from the international community for now he will abandon the request for a separate state, but he still holds requirements for great autonomy and the division of BiH into five areas. Haris Silajdzic demands the opening of a road corridor from Ploce - Mostar - Sarajevo
• A convoy of Sarajevo Slovenes, organized by the Association of Slovenes and the Slovenian government, leaves Sarajevo for Slovenia.
• UNPROFOR and the utility company 'Rad' undertake cleaning and the removal of a huge number of damaged vehicles from the street.
• The wounded wait to leave the city.
• A Hollywood team visits the editorial office of "Oslobodjenje," which operates in the basements of their completely destroyed headquarters situated on the front line of the city
• UNPROFOR receives a decision of the UN from Geneva stating that the official political and economic delegations from Sarajevo can use transport aircraft used to deliver humanitarian aid.
• The UNHCR advises Sarajevans to eat packed lunches from humanitarian aid every 6-7 days.
• The Post Office reconnects 30,000 phone lines just for priority cases, and only for local communication, as the connections to outside countries have been cut.

• The District Military Prosecutor's Office conducts an investigation of former UNPROFOR commander Louis Mackenzie

• In the city, banks are being established.

Fashion stores

were selling until deep in the first Fall of the war: T-shirts, shorts and bathing suits. Winter coats were sold by smugglers on the markets where all of merchandise anyway comes from the deserted shops. Small sizes are the easiest to find, along with the luxurious wrapping paper and colorful strips for the gifts.

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...

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...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?

Does the past exist for you?

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.


Before the siege the Sarajevo hotel capacity was 49,000 beds, but during the long siege the Holiday Inn was the only functioning in the city. The hotel was built during the Winter Olympic Games. On April 6, 1992 it was the location of the SDS terrorists who were shooting at the Sarajevo citizens gathered in front of the Parliament. As foreign journalists were staying at the hotel it was less frequently shelled than the surrounding buildings. Nevertheless a great number of rooms was burnt or destroyed. It was one of the few hotels in which the most prized rooms were those without a view. A view of the mountains meant a view of a snipers’ nest. During the siege the rule was: If you see him, he sees you The hotel took in guests all through the siege.