Director of International Film and Theater Festival
COUNTING OF TIME
‘Besieged Sarajevo had the reality of myth. It was a different time, a different place. And anything said about Sarajevo between ’92 to ’96 needs to take that into account. We joked in September ’93 when the time came to put our clocks and watches back. To move from summer-time to winter-time according to European standards. We said we shouldn’t do it. I remember saying to Muhamed Kresevljakovic who was mayor of Sarajevo that we shouldn’t do it because time in Sarajevo was differently reckoned and experienced.’
• Soup kitchens are opened for the survival of pensioners.
• Geneva, September 1, 1993. In Geneva peace negotiations continue. The following representatives from the BiH government take part: Alija Izetbegovic, Haris Silajdzic, Miro Lazovic, Ivo Komsic, Irfan Ljubljankic, Muhamed Filipovic, Fikret Abdic, Kasim Trnka and Mugdim Cukle.
• Geneva, September 4, 1993. Peace negotiations collapse.
• In Sarajevo the paper “Zadrugar” is published, with advice on the topic “How to Survive.”
• Mario Braco Kolak, graphic designer for “Oslobodjenje” newspaper, makes a hydroelectric generator on the Miljacka to supply electricity.
• The Ukraine battalion of the UN is charged with smuggling and importing heroin hidden in oranges
• BiH receives the international telephone code of 387.
• U.S. President Bill Clinton meets in Washington with Alija Izetbegovic.
• Large amounts of electricity enter Sarajevo. Elektroprivreda makes a reduction plan.
• Humanitarian aid only comes to the city through the air bridge; land convoys are halted.
• Islam Dzugum, marathon runner, does not reach the Mediterranean Games in Montpelier but is held up at Jablanica. Nevertheless, his views on training: “My task is to train, and the day will come when I will show how much it paid off.”
• The Children’s Embassy and the air transport company “Air-Commerce” seek out an air corridor for the return of refugee children in Sarajevo, as well as a means of delivering food into the city.
• For the organization “Nasa djeca”, the children of Sarajevo draw pictures for the children of New York, while those of New York do the same for those of Sarajevo.
• The writer Valerijan Zujo works on compiling his lexicon “Sarajevo”.
• Sadako Ogata, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, announces a complete cessation of humanitarian aid until a political agreement is reached to end the war.
• Geneva, September 15, 1993. In Geneva, Alija Izetbegovic and Franjo Tudjman sign a Declaration on terminating hostilities and ending military conflict between the Army of BiH and the HVO.
1. Insures an immediate end to all hostilities and military conflict between the ARBiH and the HVO, in accordance with the agreement of July 30, 1993, effective immediately, no later than September 18, 1993;
2. Ensures the mutual unconditional closure of all camps and the release of prisoners in territory under the control of the ARBiH and the HVO, effective immediately, no later than September 21;
3. Ensures both sides create conditions for the free and unimpeded passage of humanitarian convoys and the activities of charity organizations;
4. Establishes working meetings for the supervision and protection of human rights in the territory under the control of the ARBiH and the HVO in accordance with the directives and recommended resolution of the peace conference on BiH;
5. Establishes a working group on the issue of territorial demarcation between the two republics for the planned union of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the issue of sea access as a common development interest;
6. Establishes a working group for the development and implementation monitoring of the restoration and strengthening of trust and co-existence among the Croat and Muslim peoples, including media and other programs to overcome existing hostility.
Signatories of the Declaration on behalf of the BiH delegation: Alija Izetbegovic, Haris Silajdzic, Ejup Ganic, Muhamed Filipovic, Ivo Komsic; on behalf of the Republic of Croatia: Franjo Tudjman, Hrvoje Sarinic, Zeljko Matic, Miomir Zuzul, Hidajet Biscevic.
• 50 years of the newspaper “Oslobodenje” celebrated. As a sign of support, guests from across the world attend the celebration in Sarajevo.
• Ana Mrdovic, agronomist, gives advice to Sarajevans on maintaining a garden during the fall.
• In Sarajevo a cigarette is worth more than gold. An older “golf” is worth three cartons of cigarettes.
• In a meeting at Sarajevo airport a ceasefire is proclaimed between the HVO and ARBiH.
• Celebration of the Jewish new year.
• Formation of an international firefighters brigade.
• On a U.S. aircraft carrier, the “Invisible”, in the Adriatic Sea, a meeting is held between Alija Izetbegovic, Mate Boban and Radovan Karadzic with Lord Owen. Izetbegovic seeks access to the sea at Neum. The Croats are against it.
• The BH “Pen center" is accepted into the world “Pen center".
• The Presidency of the City Assembly decides: “Thieves of transformer oil will be shot without warning.”
• Lord Owen: “The Bosnian Presidency holds the keys to the peace plan.”
• The Children’s Embassy plans the opening of “Child Land”.
• Tow trucks appear on the streets of Sarajevo, towing away “improperly parked automobiles” to the delight of Sarajevans observing this spectacle. .
• The Office for transport publishes a list for the departures of convoys. Those eligible for work detail are removed from the list.
• NATO is ready to send peacekeeping troops.
• CSB discovers miniature marijuana plantations in apartments in the city.
• The Government issues a decision introducing daylight saving time.
• “Bosnalijek” produces 20 new medicines in small batches.
• “Velepekara” lacks oil even for transport, let alone to operate generators
• Geneva, November 29, 1993. In Geneva peace negotiations being. Participants: Alija Izetbegovic, Franjo Tudjman, Slobodan Milosevic, Mate Boban and Radovan Karadzic.
Watch-repairmen are working, as are the opticians. Locksmiths, electricians, plumbers, carpenters - they will visit your home, if only you can find them. Be ready to pay in hard currency.
Experience of Survival
During two years of war, Sarajevo has stabilized within its post-cataclysmic environment. Sarajevo became a new city with a new way and philosophy of living. The 4,000 shells falling per day onto and into this urban landscape brought destruction, but it also brought another insight into the understanding of humanity; the answer to the question of how individuals can create a community out of nothing, and how this particular community in Sarajevo can create a new social group for the 21st Century.
This new philosophy exists in Sarajevo. It is called Survival. It is a philosophy created as a response to terror, a way of recapturing freedom by retaining the fundamentals of humanity; a set of morals, a culture, creativity, tolerance, a clarity of mind, a lack of fear. Humour and innovation have been integrated into every part of life. Even without the hardware of buildings, water, electricity or gas, Sarajevo has not become a dead city. It actually – and in spite of everything – has the software the rest of the world needs.
Sarajevo became a self-contained model of how an urban structure can survive a modern cataclysm. The time of the Warsaw ghetto entered history. The siege of Leningrad has been almost forgotten. The siege of Sarajevo, its 900 days under siege, surpassed all the horrors we've seen in documentaries and read about in history books. Sarajevo's fate, its actual day to day life has become something we've only seen in science fiction movies. Sarajevo's The Day After has proved that the city holds the skills and the knowledge needed to respond to the greatest degree of change in life, using human instincts and keeping the ideals of humanity on a practical level. The knowledge and the skills Sarajevo has accumulated are the knowledge the rest of the world needs in preparation for the 21st Century.
Everything is possible. Subsisting on the bare necessities, Sarajevo doesn't use pesticides or create pollution. It has become the greatest of all green cities on Earth. The entire city is trying to realize the New Age objectives of health, ecological, agricultural awareness, recycling and self sufficiency.
But, this perfect model of Survival can only be realized through the support of the international community. Sarajevo needs technology, education, and cultural information from the rest of the World.
The World needs Sarajevo's experience of Survival.
He was born in Sarajevo in 1961. In 1984 he graduated the Academy of Art in Novi Sad. His professional training includes the Fulbright Scholarship, High Level Training for Directors (Festival d’Avignon, UNESCO), work for Nordic Theatre Institute Holstebro in Denmark. Haris Pašović was directing in the most important theatres in former Yugoslavia before the war and has won almost every major theater award. His work has included Aristophanes’ “Birds”, Bunuel’s “Hamlet”, Jarry “Ubu Roa”, Wedekind’s “Spring’s Awakening”, “Marat/Sade”, Kiš “Simon, the Magician”.
During the siege of the city, Haris Pasovic continued to direct theater performances (“City”, “Silk Drums” based on the Japanese classical theatre, Euripides’ “Alcestis”, “Silk Drums II” “In the country of last things”, by Paul Auster) and films and organize screenings and exhibitions. He has been running the Sarajevo International Theatre and Film Festival.
It there were life after life, in what shape would you return?
I wouldn’t come back.
How do you describe perfect happiness?
What is you biggest loss?
What is your biggest gain?
A new look at freedom and that I do not hate anybody.
When and where were you happiest?
What are your lost illusions?
A healthy society.
Describe your day at work.
Waking up, reading, administration, creation, reading, sleeping.
What words don’t you use anymore?
How do I remember?
In your opinion, is morale a virtue?
Where would you like to live?
How have you survived?
By accident, for now.
What are you afraid of?
A world war.
Does the past exist for you?
This is the end of a civilization. What will the next one be like?
It would be nice if it was intelligent.
Can you give us a recipe for mental health?
Once you find the recipe it is often too late.
How would you like to die?
I would not like to die.
Do you need hope to live?
After hope and after fear.
What did ’92 look like, and ’93, and ’94?
How would you call this period of your life?
Your message from the end of the world, from a country of last things?
Do you like life, and what is life all about?
Yes, but I cannot answer the second part of the question.