I’ve gotten over being sick the first two weeks of being home, and used to a new schedule, and after multiple people telling me they looked forward to reading this blog, I’ve come back.
I spent a solid five hours the other day downloading and editing all of the remaining photos I had, so over the next weeks you’ll see my travels to Croatia and my last weeks in Bosnia. I’ll wrap that up with a longer musing on the Psychology of Function that I’ve been working on.
In the meantime, here are pictures of Drea drinking coffee 🙂
When I got back to Sarajevo I began the home stretch of my time abroad. I’ll do a separate post on the March of Peace later, but on the actual anniversary of Srebrenica we went to the Tunnel of Hope. The Tunnel of Hope was the only way goods (and people) could be smuggled inside and outside of Sarajevo during the siege. Located near the airport, it was a lifeline to the city. The remains are still pockmarked with bulletholes and shrapnel scars.
It’s about ten minutes outside of Ilidza, and it was very difficult for the Serbs to find because of its remote location.
Even this far outside of the city, there are Sarajevo roses that fill the shrapnel indentations and represent places people died.
The tunnel itself is a reconstruction of the actual thing, but the artifacts are intriguing and highlight just how small and primitive this lifeline was.
The red dots below represent the Serbian locations during the siege.
And the numbers below represent the power each group had. I will always say to be careful of those who say “it was everyone’s fault and everyone is to blame.” That’s a lazy response and dependent entirely on how widely you’re casting your historical net.
Out behind the tunnel they had a museum (be very aware of who is presenting the material and how it’s being presented, and take that into account as you pass through the museum) as well as a gift shop.
I have quite the set of feelings about the commodification of tragedy and oppression, and it was not lost on me as I walked through this exhibit that it was the second time in six months that I had paid money to walk through a tunnel (I visited the tunnels at the DMZ in Korea in March) and subsequently pass through a gift shop at the same location (don’t buy the DMZ chocolate-covered soybeans).
It’s a reality I know has to exist, but it makes me feel wholly uncomfortable that it even does exist. It goes hand-in-hand with how I feel about the two Germans demanding a portion of the fortune they claim they’ve found in a Nazi-era train. Just… why? Why not hand it over as a historical fact, a monument to genocide and tragedy and the human reality, instead of capitalizing upon the three and holding it ransom?
Part of me finds that particular aspect of capitalism disgusting.
I did not buy anything at the shop (though they were selling white flowers commemorating Srebrenica, a reality I found out much later wasn’t supposed to occur), and after an hour at the museum, we left to go home to an eerily quiet city.
In Sarajevo, on the anniversary of Srebrenica, no music is allowed to be played (save the most basic classical), and the only thing projected on televisions and radios is 24-7 coverage of the genocide.