THE RADIO ‘ZID’ IS MOSTLY LISTENED TO EARLY IN THE MORNING // 10. 1993.
ADI SARAJLIC // JOURNALIST - RADIO ZID
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT

October 1993

Adi Sarajlic
Journalist – Radio Zid
THE RADIO ‘ZID’ IS MOSTLY LISTENED TO EARLY IN THE MORNING

‘No one knew when the night program would be. Would it be tonight, tomorrow night, or in a month, or twice a week. It was never very frequent because we didn’t have enough electricity. At a moment’s notice you’d leave everything in your life. That means if you were at home or if you were in town you’d leave everything and go to the radio station. Not only me but also everyone. It was a kind of emptying, something fine, absorbing. We sat and worked. It happened to me once that I worked from 7 in the evening when the electricity came, until 7 in the morning, literally worked without a break. I didn’t eat anything, just drank some stale water, and we didn’t manage to play even one song, didn’t manage to broadcast 30 seconds of music - we just talked. Talked to people. We felt the need for it.’

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OCTOBER 1993


• The executive committee of the city reaches a decision on the increase of apartment rent from October 1st.


• An “interreligious event” is held: participants include the Orthodox priest Avakum Rosic, head of the Catholic church Vinko Puljic, Reis-ul-ulema Effendi Ceric, Brother Petar Arandjelovic, President of the Jewish community David Kamhi. A mass is held at the Sarajevo cathedral and liturgy at the Orthodox church.


• During the siege of Sarajevo 120,000 refugees enter the city.
• For the first time during the war the Art Gallery of BiH is opened. There is an exhibition of photographs by Annie Leibovitz. The exhibition is opened by Susan Sontag.
• Susan Sontag becomes an honorary citizen of Sarajevo.


• The Pope sends a message of peace: “Bosnians, you are not alone!”
• “Velepekara” stops working. It has neither gas nor oil.
• The Blessed Peace Buliders wounded in a peace mission across the Vrbanja Bridge. One of them dies.


• Sarajevo Brewery produces 1,000,000 beers a month as a substitute for water. The factory has a stock of raw materials that could last for two years.


• Adi Sarajlic, journalist for the radio station “Zid”, tells his early morning listeners: “260 listeners phone in between 3:30 and 4 o’clock in the morning.


• The HVO wants control over Jablanica. The owners of power plants are set to address the issue of financing Herzeg-Bosnia by exporting electricity to Dalmatia.
• In Sarajevo the smuggling of drugs, works of art and food is widespread.


• Medical evacuations reach an impasse.
• The Directorate for Refugees and Displaced Persons founds a counseling center.


• Survey by the radio station “Studio 99”: The majority of Sarajevans are in favor of the introduction of a protectorate.
• The Sarajevo air bridge is the longest running of its kind in history. It lasts 467 days – longer than that of Berlin.
• In the city frequent gas explosions result of improper installations.
• 10,000 signatories across the world for the establishment of a Court for War Crimes. War criminals cannot bring peace. The declaration is signed by George Soros, Wiesenthal, Umberto Ecco, Ginsberg…
• Serbia under sanctions. Pirates hijack oil on the Danube.


• New members of the Presidency of BiH are appointed: Nijaz Durakovic, Stjepan Kljujic, Ivo Komsic. Miro Lasic and Boras relieved from duty.


• Fikret Abdić, former member of the Presidency of BiH, signs a peace agreement with the Bosnian Serbs. Fikret Abdic works in alliance with Mate Boban.


• Opening of the Film Festival in Sarajevo. Many guests stay in Ancona, not having been able to arrange for UN planes. The slogan of the festival: “We can’t promise you anything.”


• The International Court for War Crimes begins working on November 17.
• Operation undertaken by MUP and the Army of RBiH against the 9th motorized and 10th mountain brigades of the Army of RBiH. 530 people are detained. The main culprit, Caco Topalovic, is killed, and Celo surrenders. MUP and ABiH take back bases from the criminals. According to an “Oslobodjenje” survey, citizens are relieved and believe that rule of law will be restored.


• The Jewish pharmacy in Sarajevo dispenses 10,000,000 medicines to citizens.

Radio

Those with batteries/generators can listen to the government radio and some independent, privately owned stations. The most popular are the urban stations “Zid” and “Studio 99”.

Independent Radio Station – Radio Zid

Radio Zid is an independent radio station not supported by any governmental or other sources.
Radio transmits program 24 hours per day on the frequency 89,9 MHz from Sarajevo.
Radio can be listened by 500/600,000 people. Established at the end of 1992. Radio Zid constantly transmits its program although faced with many difficulties caused by war in the besieged Sarajevo.
Radio Zid promotes the ideas of civil society which is threatened by aggression from outside, as well as by a trend towards „monolithic media“ from inside. Up to now Radio Zid has successfully kept its independence from both pressures.
Radio Zid is not politically close to any party existing in Sarajevo.

Projects – Radio Zid Sarajevo

THE COLORFUL WALL (ŠARENI ZID) – Children's Program was created with the help of UNICEF Sarajevo office.
THE COLORFUL WALL is broadcast every working day from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM and is intend to reach the kids, the greatest victims of this cruel war, in order to free them from the burdens of reality. The program is designed to be educational and entertaining. THE COLORFUL WALL includes 30 minutes of radio school which helps elementary school kids with their regular school courses. THE COLORFUL WALL radio school was, for a while, the only available official school in town authorized by the Ministry of Education of the republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
It is important to note that this was the first and remains the only children's program in these territories created and run exclusively by children.
The children's drama department, part of THE COLORFUL WALL, remains innovative and active, having already produced Sarajevo's first-feature length children's drama „Charlie and The Chocolate Factory“ with the financial help from our friends in England. Charlie and the great Glass Elevator is another project of this department, presently abandoned because of financial difficulties.

TEENAGE PROGRAM intended for an audience of 14 to 19 years of age is in preparation. Teenagers are much neglected by Sarajevo media. Research has shown that under the present living conditions in Sarajevo the teenagers are one of the most jeopardized groups in the city in a psychological sense.
Often well educated, but having been forced to neglect their studies because of the war and re-construct a new youth culture, they are hungry for an outlet for their ideas and concerns. This program, produced, planned and scripted by Sarajevan teenagers, will give a voice to their passions.

THE HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAM
The goal of this program is to provide our listeners with the information necessary for them to establish a healthy life style. The program plans to cover and systematically subjects unlikely to be in depth at school or in the work-place.
THE HEALTH EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM aims to act preventatively. We want our listeners to be: correctly informed, do some thinking and take independent decisions.

20,000 MINES UNDER THE GROUND
It is well known fact that several millions of lethal projectiles (mines, grenades...) have been fired upon Sarajevo, and that a significant number of them never exploded.
With this in mind RADIO ZID SARAJEVO along with experts in explosives plans to initiate an extensive public information program warning risk groups of the many dangers of unexploded bombs and projectiles.
With this project we hope to raise awareness in the general population and give easy to follow instructions on how to react when confronted with suspicious objects or more obviously deadly devices.



Radio Zid – Art radio

Ever since the beginning of the project we have consciously tried to develop our radio station as an art concept. We thought that defending and preserving Sarajevo's cultural identity was an important as its actual defense. Besides we have tried to transmit in our programs to the people of the city current information about all cultural events in Europe and the world. The Zid was the organizer or helped to organize a large number of cultural manifestations in Sarajevo during the war, some of which were proclaimed the first rate media-events. One of those was the Hiroshima Day on August 6, 1993 which brought together a number of the most prominent artists in the world, while more than 700 of those who could not come to Sarajevo sent messages of support. The „Zid“ was one of the organizers of the two week „After the End of the World“ film festival where some of the best current films were shown and seen by tens of thousands of people. In March and April 1994 we organized a review of the commercially most successful films of the previous year and screened some twenty films, mainly produced in Hollywood. The „Zid“ also promoted in its programs Susan Sontag's production of „Waiting for Godot“ and Susan Sontag whenever in Sarajevo participates in the radio's programs. The „Zid's“ commitment to theatre can also be seen in its contribution to the performance of The Wall (an adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre's short story) which has been filling the theatre for the past three years. The station also gave its support, media promotion and organizational skills to Joan Baez's concert as well as to „Dystopia“ project which brought together some of the world's most acclaimed architects. A part of the „Zid's“ activity is devoted to publishing. It published and promoted the book titled „100&1 Nights“ (Sarajevo,1994) and presented „The Sarajevo Survival Guide“ (FAMA, Zagreb 1993)
The „Zid's“ gallery organized exhibitions of photographs and caricatures by foreign and local artists.
Simultaneously, right from its beginnings the „Zid's“ program has been oriented towards presenting all aspects of culture. Apart from informing about the current cultural production the „Zid“ presents every day between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. specialized program devoted to a variety of arts and culture in general (theatre, film, music, poetry, fiction, architecture, history of art, religion, etc.). Although operating under totally unacceptable technical and other conditions, at the beginning of the year the „Zid“ managed to produce by its own stuff (technicians and actors) the only radio drama in Sarajevo during the past two years. Its presentation of culture differentiates the „Zid“ from all other media in the city, both the electronic (radio and TV) and the newspapers. The mentioned activities and the program orientation resulted in the „Zid“ being officially proclaimed the Sarajevo media event of 1993. Working towards preservation of the city's cultural identity the „Zid“ has also made efforts to break the informational blockade trying to inform people of Sarajevo about all important cultural events in the world. Due to the „Zid's“ successful coverage Sarajevo, even during its siege, was very well informed about all the relevant cultural manifestations in the world.

Adi Sarajlic
He was born on June 3, 1970. He graduated from the building engineering high school, after which he started studying architecture. From 1989 to 1992 he worked for the Bosnian Youth Radio with interruptions.

THE SIEGE
He started working for the Bosnian radio again, in the show “The Voice of the Country.” From October 1992 to February 1993 he started making jingles. He has a high opinion of his jingles because they were all censored and banned. In May 1993, he started working for the radio “Zid”, where he hosts the shows “Burden,” and “Top 40.”

It there were life after life, in what shape would you return?
As a terminator.

How do you describe perfect happiness?
Good wife, guitar and a rich daddy who always does something.

What is you biggest loss?
50 German marks.

What is your biggest gain?
A Havana cake for my first (war) birthday.

When and where were you happiest?
When I reached the peak.

What are your lost illusions?
The peaks of the Himalayas.

Describe your day at work.
My mornings begin at 8, first coffee, raiser blade and a cigarette, fax, drawing, radio!

Sarajevo?
Blood, sweat, tears.

What words don’t you use anymore?
Serbo-Croat (I use only Bosnian.)

In your opinion, is morale a virtue?
Yes.

Where would you like to live?
Above the eternal fire (the crossroads between the Ferhadija and Tito streets.)

How have you survived?
As a child I watched the “Survival,” when I learned a lot of tricks.

What are you afraid of?
Of my lies that people understand too serious.

Does the past exist for you?
A man without a past is like a tree without roots.

This is the end of a civilization. What will the next one be like?
I don’t know.

Can you give us a recipe for mental health?
Put your finger in your bellybutton and rotate.

How would you like to die?
Life fast, die young, so you would be a pretty corps.

Do you need hope to live?
No, I need a “hard car.” (armored)

What did ’92 look like, and ’93, and ’94?
Fate played a little game with us.

How would you call this period of your life?
It won’t and it won’t and than it stops.

Your message from the end of the world, from a country of last things?
I know that I don’t know, but I am satisfied that others don’t know that don’t know a thing.

Do you like life, and what is life all about?
Life is a movie with the same beginning over and over (happy), and the same ending (sad). I love it because of its middle stage, which cannot be predicted.

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