A SPECIAL PERMIT FOR GOING OUT DURING THE CURFEW // 07. 1994.
JASENKO MATKOVIC // DANCER
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT

July 1994

Jesenko Matkovic
Dancer
A SPECIAL PERMITT FOR GOING OUT DURING THE CURFEW

‘That really annoyed me a lot throughout the war. I, as a soldier, had very little spare time. I considered spare time to be God’s gift; something priceless and I wanted to take advantage of it in all possible ways. I often remember the encounters with police or with people who kept order at that time of night. During that time there was a curfew and there were endless discussions on whether I, as a soldier, may or may not cut the curfew, that it could be connived at, if I, let’s say, miss it for half an hour or an hour. I even had to stay at the station once.’

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JULY 1994


• The Contact Group, composed of the U.K., France, Russia, Germany and the U.S. will present a map with the territorial demarcation of BiH and a set of threats in order to ensure acceptance of the plan.


• The U.S. Senate votes to not allow unilaterally lifting the arms embargo. The vote count is 50 - 50, but Vice President Al Gore casts the deciding vote against.


• Conflict between the Franciscans in Medjugorje. Fra Zovko, "Herzeg-Bosnia is the same as the creation of the Bosnian Serbs."


• Opening of U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo.
• Geneva, July 5th, 1994. Geneva peace agreement between the Muslims and Croats on the city of Mostar, placing it under the supervision of the European Union. Alija Izetbegovic and Kresimir Zubak sign the agreement.


• Top diplomats representing members of the G7 adopt a map dividing Bosnia and Herzegovina. They decided that with warnings and incentives they can compel the Muslims and Serbs to accept it.
• Gorazde: UN soldiers increasingly frequent target of attacks.


• The Contact Group proposes a portfolio of maps for all of the delegations. Concessions were made to the Government of BiH by preserving Bosnia and Herzegovina as a single state within its existing borders.


• The citizens of Sarajevo gain weight.
• On roofs in Sarajevo green gardens are cultivated as a means of survival.


• NATO appeals to the warring sides to accept the peace plan.


• On the plan presented by the Contact Group, Alija Izetbegovic says: "The plan is bad, but all of the other options are worse."
• U.K. Foreign Minister Douglas Hurd, and the Foreign Minister of France, Alain Juppé, arrive in Sarajevo on the occasion of the opening of the French Embassy.


• Increased sniper fire.
• The Parliament of the Federation BiH accepts the Contact Group plan.


• The Bosnian Serb Assembly has not yet announced a decision on the peace plan proposed by the Contact Group.


• Flights to Sarajevo airport are suspended because the a "C-141 Hercules" plane is hit.
• The UN Special Envoy for Human Rights, Tadeusz Mazowiecki: "My statements were not taken seriously, and my recommendation was not accepted, because that is how the governments of some European countries wanted it to be."


• The Bosnian Serbs reject the new peace plan. The international community is now left without a new initiative.


• In Mostar the administration of the European Union is established.
• Because of the Bosnian Serbs's rejection of the peace plan, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, says: "We hope that the Russians put pressure on the Serbs to accept the peace plan."


• The Bosnian Serbs close the "blue routes" around Sarajevo.


• NATO is ready to provide air support to UN troops. The Bosnian Serb Army attacks a UN convoy on Mount Igman.


• Geneva: The Contact Group brings sanctions, but no military intervention.
• Sarajevo: A tram comes under sniper attack. Passengers wounded. Tram traffic suspend. UN soldiers return fire from an APC and thus stop the sniper fire.

Modern Sarajevan

He has to have, and on a visible spot, at least one accreditation, seemingly just a piece of paper with his photograph. But beware - accreditation is the law in the besieged city, a proof of belonging to someone which makes you important. Those with local ID. are not more than the second-rate citizens. So, the modern Sarajevan has the accreditation, weapons, a good car, and a complete uniform. The owner of a bullet-proof vest is regarded with honor. The one who doesn’t wear uniform, has an ax in his right hand for cutting down the trees, and a series of canisters on the left shoulder. His image would be complete with a mask against poison gas.
A modern woman from Sarajevo cuts the wood, carries humanitarian aid, smaller canisters filled with water, does not visit a hair-dresser nor a beautician. She is slim, and runs fast. Girls regularly visit the places where humanitarian aid is being distributed. They know the best aid-packages according to their numbers. They get up early to get the water, visit cemeteries to collect some wood, and greet new young refugees. Many are wearing golden and silver lilies as earrings, as pins, on the necklaces.
Sarajevo is a city of slender people. Its citizens could be authors of the most up-dated diets. No one is fat any longer. The only thing you need is to have your city under the siege - there lies the secret of a great shape. Everybody is wearing their youthful clothes of teenage size. Sarajevans lost about four thousand tons (400,000 citizens lost about 10 kilos each). They greet each other with - TAKE CARE!

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.

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