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Interpret Europe Conference | 31 May - 3 June 2019 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina | #iecon19

Study visits 1 June

General notes on the excursions

  • 14.00 departure from the hotel. Options 1, 2 and 3 are within walking distance. Option 4 will travel by bus to its destination.
  • The study visits will last approximately 4.5hours (including coffee break).
  • Each study visit will include some level of translation.
  • Some programmes are more sensitive to the weather. You can enhance your experience by wearing comfortable clothing, and boots/sneakers, as well as carrying rain gear with you.
  • Some programmes contain sensitive content. Images and exhibits are related to the topics of war and human suffering, and can be visually and emotionally disturbing. They are an important part of the history of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

Option 1: Museum Of Crimes against Humanity and Genocide 1992-1995 and Galleria 11/07/95

Museum of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide

The study visit will showcase two interpretation approaches to the topic of the 92-95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Participants will be invited not just to explore the exhibition spaces, but also to have meaningful discussion with the founders of these institutions.

The Museum of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide 1992–1995 was founded in July 2016 as an initiative to sustain the memory of all the victims of the war that lasted from 1992-1995. The founders of the museum are themselves victims who survived the war. They created the museum together with young people and operate without governmental support.The exhibition contains a variety of photos, documentaries, testimonies and personal items that hold the stories of the war and genocide victims. The museum staff has given their best to transfer those stories into written pieces that proudly stand next to every item. In order to make the visit more authentic and realistic, the museum presents simulations of a mass grave and solitary confinement.

All parts of the exhibition are based on one of the verdicts in the war crime cases that were brought before domestic or international court. Each room in the exhibition explores its own topic to which the exhibited items match, including genocide in Srebrenica, crime against children, concentration camps, the siege of Sarajevo, mass graves and victims of sexual violence.

Museum of Crimes Against Humanity and GenocideGallery 11/07/95 is the first memorial gallery in Bosnia and Herzegovina – an exhibition space aiming to preserve the memory of the Srebrenica tragedy and the 8,372 people who perished in the massacres. Through a wide range of multimedia content – images, maps, audio and video materials – the Gallery offers documentary and artistic interpretation of the events that took place in this small town in Eastern Bosnia during the month of July 1995.

The concept is a museum-gallery hybrid: this blend of artistic and documentary forms counteracts the homogenous and ideological interpretative strategies. What makes it special is that it does not deal with history in its final, recorded form: it also intervenes into the historical moment that is not only recent past, but belongs to the present as well. The overall aim of this museum is to be a strong and decisive voice against all forms of violence in the world.

The gallery employs mixed media – photography, video, and interactive documentary motivating the spectator to reflect on the particular politics of memory and forgetting, that have come to characterise not only the event itself, but also how the event has been (re)presented.

Option 2: Despic’s House and Svrzo’s House

Despic’s House

Witness the traces of everyday living of different families living in Bosnia and Herzegovina and how their lifestyle incorporated the diversity of religions and worldviews.

Despic’s House is an old merchant house in Sarajevo that was established in 1881 by one of the wealthiest and most prominent Serb families. The progenitor of the family was Risto Sljepčević, who is believed to have moved to Sarajevo in the mid-18th century from the Herzegovinian village of Sambor. Here he learned his ćurčijski (leather making) trade and married Despa, who is said to have been the daughter of a handžija (the owner of a han, or inn). Since Despa was from Sarajevo, they referred to their descendants as Despići, or Despa’s sons.

This dependency of the Sarajevo Museum, the oldest part of which dates from the 17th century, was built in several stages at three different periods. The house is noted as the venue for the city’s first theatre performances, so that it may be regarded as the precursor of modern theatre.

Svrzo’s HouseSvrzo’s House represents the lifestyle of an urban Muslim family in the late 18th and throughout the 19th century.The house was built by a prominent Sarajevo family, the Glođos, a member of which was kadi – Islamic judge-administrator – Munib effendi Glođo, famous for his involvement in Bosnia’s struggle for autonomy within the Ottoman Empire. The family failed for want of a male heir, and the property passed by marriage to another prominent Sarajevo family, Svrzo.

Svrzo’s House is a typical example of the architecture of that period, with its division into the selamluk or public quarters and the haremluk or private, family quarters. It was purchased from the Svrzo family, refurbished and opened to the public in the 1960s.

Option 3: Little Jerusalem tour – Churches, Mosque and Synagogue

Svrzo’s House

Sarajevo is very proud of its centuries-old multiculturality, which is due to the fact that Christians (Orthodox and Catholics), Muslims and Jews have been living here with one another for ages.This well-established coexistence in Sarajevo has led to a unique, rich and enchanting mix of cultures which acts very much like a powerful magnet, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe.

During this study visit, you’ll see Orthodox and Catholic churches, mosques and synagogues, and you’ll discover first-hand why many call Sarajevo a European Jerusalem and why this city serves as a model of coexistence for Europe. The tour will feature the Old Orthodox Church in Sarajevo, which is dedicated to Archangels Michael and Gabriel, as one of Sarajevo’s oldest houses of worship.It is presumed that the structure was built in the middle of the 16th century and that an even older church once stood on the same spot.The church houses its own museum, which was founded in 1889. Given the value of the icons in its collection, it is considered one of the most important Orthodox museums in the world.

The Emperor’s Mosque is Sarajevo’s oldest mosque and one of the oldest in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is presumed that Isa Bey Ishaković, the founder of Sarajevo, had this place of worship built soon after the city’s founding in 1462 in honor of Sultan Mehmed II “the Conqueror”. There is a cemetery behind the mosque where prominent Sarajevans were buried, such as Sheikh Ibrahim Bistrigija; Mula Muhamed Emin and the Bosnian muhafiz, Abdulah Pasha. It is believed that it also contains the grave of Isa Bey Ishaković.

Museum of Crimes Against Humanity and GenocideThe Cathedral of Jesus’ Sacred Heart was built in 1889 in the Neo-Gothic style and is the seat of the Archdiocese of Vrhbosna. Josip Vancaš, a Hungarian architect, took his inspiration for the design of Sarajevo’s cathedral from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Dijon, France and St. Teyn Cathedral in Prague. The interior of the church is richly decorated and it was the famous Italian-German painter, Alexander Maximilian Seitz, who painted the frescos.

The Askenazi Synagogue was built in 1902 for Sarajevo’s Jews, who began to arrive in greater numbers once Bosnia and Herzegovina was occupied by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.The temple was designed by the famous architect, Karl Paržik. This was the first religious building in the Pseudo-Moorish style for Sarajevo.It is believed that Paržik’s designs for this Sarajevo synagogue (at that time, the third largest temple in Europe) were based on the synagogue in Budapest. Construction was entrusted to Ludwig Jungwirth and the work and painting on the interior was carried out by master painter, Ludwig Oisner.

Option 4: Biodiversity tour on the Igman Visočica Mountain (Location had to be moved due to the unusual weather conditions)

Igman mountain

Visočica constitutes a natural border between central Bosnia and Upper Herzegovina. Mount Visočica represents a complex of ridges and peaks with a view towards the mountains of Bjelašnica, Igman and Treskavica. The highest peak is Mosque (1967 m/nv), and the mountain is adorned with forests, pastures, seasonal lakes, springs and necropolises of stećak tombstones. In the early spring and late autumn, a small lake is created due to precipitation and snow melting.

There are numerous specific ecosystems in the area that are abundant in plant and animal species. Endemic, endangered and susceptible plant species and numerous species that have traditionally been used in medicinal purposes.  The mountain Visočica is under increasing negative anthropogenic impacts and raising awareness of the need for its protection is of great importance.
Visočica is part of the proposed national park that consists of four mountain massifs (Igman, Bjelašnica, Treskavica, Visočica) formed mainly from Triassic limestone with dolomites to the west. The whole area is a large plateau, with widely spread karst characteristics and numerous limestone phenomena. It is limited and cut by deep-seated river canyons, including those made by the rivers Rakitnica and Neretva. The specific conditions governing the canyons, which are true refugiums, have led to the development of stenocytic and relict plant and animal species.

The basic types of vegetation recorded here are forests of beech, beech and fir, and dark coniferous forests. For the Igman area, smelter forests are particularly interesting, characterised by the appearance of temperature inversions. Ecosystems of mountain meadows, rock cracks, snow systems are particularly important. The region of Igman-Bjelašnica-Treskavica-Visočica has a special role in providing regulatory services, supply services and cultural services such as: recreation, mental and physical health, tourism, aesthetic experiences, spiritual values and others. However, these services are today largely endangered and degraded due to climate change and extreme temperature variations, habitat conversion, and excessive resource exposures.

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