Srebrenica, from night to night
July 1995: the Serbian army from Bosnia launched an attack upon the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica. Nearly 8,000 men were massacred in 3 days.
20 years later, the city seems frozen in its own history.
And a new generation wanders throughout its dark remains.
She has the age of genocide.
Srebrenica, beautiful and quiet.
In Tito’s Yugoslavia the city was famous both for hot springs and air quality. Known as the silver city”, Srebrenica flourished thanks to the precious mineral.
After the war, the money flows back into the city. But hot springs are still closed.
Just after the war, Srebrenica has become the symbol of Serbian barbarism just as much as the UN inanity to stop genocide in a so-called «protected zone. Being a symbol has a price. Since 20 years, the city has lived under generous NGOs donations. International assistance paid for assisted return programs. Some plants have been re-opened and a brand new supermarket stands alone in the middle of dilapidated buildings.
Living in Srebrenica is to experience this indefinable time of post-war. If everyone knows when this «post» starts, who can tell when it stops? Strolling through this space where the testimonies of horror cohabit with peacetime, a question emerges:
«Is there an end at the end of war?».
Having talk with local youngsters, we guess that the night of history never really came to break. Trauma is still present among survivors and scars are still visible along the walls.
For young people, it all makes sense. Who would pay to support a fully recovered city?
To maintain international compassion after 20 years, you must keep a part of drama on stage. For the symbol but also for business. In a widely corrupted country, where finding a job often requires a political card, youth continues to ask: where is the money going?
War is in the scenery. It is also part of the desperate and nearly furious temperament of post-genocide generation. This war is the daily fight you have to engage against this post who is clinging on to you. When you are 20, how to grow in remains, how to get out of this endless night?
According to them this is impossible. The one that comes to Srebrenica is not here to test the local rakia or discover its wooded (and still mined) mountains. The one that comes to Srebrenica must be here for “the duty to remember. If not, to get closer to the thrill of history. To face this wall riddled with bullet holes, to get lost in this abandoned factory or to listen the story of this weathered face man ... The one that comes to Srebrenica is full of good intentions about the elements that bring peace and understanding between people and religions…hell. Hell is in the eye of the other. The eye that makes you fascist or victim according to your origins. Here in Srebrenica, youth is not asking for anything, thank you.
Born in Srebrenica is an injustice for 20 years and who just wants to drink and make love.
And all the aid programs are able nothing.
Ademir, Milica, Merka, Miroslav have age of genocide.
On the night of history, the city belongs to them.