Archive for bridge over the river drina

Call to Action: Protest to La Fenice for involvement with Emir Kusturica

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2013 by visegrad92

na-drini-opera

Image: Satiric poster by an unknown author of the planned opera to be produce in a joint cooperation between La Fenice theatre and Emir Kusturica, under the support of Milorad Dodik and Republika Srpska.

Association Cuprija, the “Stop genocide denial” movement and several other non-governmental organizations have started a campaign against the decision of La Fenice theatre to jointly produce an opera entitled “The Bridge over the River Drina” based on the novel by Ivo Andric.

The email address of La Fenice director is: sovrintendenza@teatrolafenice.org

The protest letter is below:

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Dear Mr. Cristiano Chiarot,

I am writing to you to express my deep regret that an institution like La Fenice has decided to work with Emir Kusturica and Milorad Dodik on staging „The Bridge over the River Drina“ opera in “Andricgrad”. Taking into consideration Dodik’s and Kusturica’s genocide denial and the blatant discrimination on non-Serbs in Republika Srpska, and the fact that “Andricgrad” has been built on the land forcefully taken from a Bosniak family from Visegrad, I strongly object to La Fenice staging this work in in “Andricgrad”, as it has been announced by Kusturica.

It is highly problematic that with the announced joint project with Kusturica, La Fenice would be directly supporting continued repression of Bosniaks in Visegrad.

I remind you that Visegrad used to be a town with 65% Bosniak population. After the campaign of ethnic cleansing by the Bosnian Serb and Serbian forces, this population has been reduced to 400 Bosniaks, mostly elderly.

The vast majority of them were expelled from Visegrad by Yugoslav Peoples’ Army and Republika Srpska Army, 3,000 were murdered, many Bosniak women and girls raped, women and children burnt alive in houses. These crimes have been well documented by the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.

Currently 600 Bosniaks are registered as missing in Visegrad municipality, buried in mass graves known to the municipal authorities who are refusing to reveal their whereabouts.

Not only is there no attempt by Visegrad and Republika Srpska authorities to acknowledge the crimes and compensate the victims’ families, but they have recently issued an order to remove a monument built for Visegrad’s genocide victims at Straziste cemetery. As you can see, while La Fenice is planning operas with the Dodik’s blessing, Bosniaks in Visegrad are denied the basic right to commemorate their victims.

Furthermore, “Andricgrad” has been built on the land which belongs to Hadžić family from Visegrad, who had it confiscated illegally from them by the municipality as part of the ethnic cleansing of non-Serbs. Hadžić family members, who today live in the UK, Switzerland, Austrija, Australija, New Zealand and Sarajevo, will claim their property back in an international lawsuit and initiate legal action against Republika Srpska authorities and Kusturica. It is difficult to believe that such a renown institution of culture like La Fenice would allow itself to be an accomplice in an illegal enterprise that “Andricgrad” clearly is.

While I have no objection to the promotion of culture La Fenice champions, I strongly disagree Visegrad is a place where such events should take place until it deals with the legacy of extermination of its non-Serb population. For this reason, I ask you to refrain from from this morally objectionable project and in doing so demonstrate the due respects to genocide victims at Straziste cemetery.

Yours sincerely,

Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge:A Monument to Genocide

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2009 by visegrad92

Image: Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge built by the Ottomans. Hundreds of Bosniaks(Bosnian Muslims) were murdered and thrown off the bridge into the Drina River by Bosnian Serbs. Picture Copyright © Velija Hasanbegovic

Witness X(Zeljko Lelek case, Court of Bosnia&Herzegovina):

“Zeljko Lelek, Mile Joksimovic and Vlatko Pecikoza arrived almost at the same time at the bridge. Lelek was in a taxi driven by Bosko Djuric. They took out two women out of the car, both were in their early 20s, one was carrying a five to six month old baby. Vlatko grabbed the baby from her and said ‘Let the baby have some fresh air’. He took it and threw it up in the air. Lelek was holding a knife and caught the little body on it,” the witness said, adding that Joksimovic then forced the mother to lick the child’s blood “in order to stop the bleeding”.

Witness KB(Zeljko Lelek case, Court of Bosnia&Herzegovina):

“I saw them bringing two older people whose hands were tied. One was wearing a French beret on his head. They lined them up by the water and forced them to go into the water. When the water was up to their waist, the men started shooting. People fell down and I was sick from watching it,”

Witness Hasan Ajanovic(Vasiljevic, Lukic case):

“Lukic told us to wade out into the water,” he said, interviewed by telephone from a Western European country that he insisted not be identified. “I did not hear the first shot, I suspect because Lukic’s gun had a silencer. But I heard the screams and then the other shots. Meho’s body fell on top of me. I lay with my face in the sand until night. I swam across the river and escaped. The water stank of death.” (Source)

Image: From Joe Sacco’s “Gorazde: A Safe Area”

Witness Mesud Cocalic:

“The bodies were often slashed with knife marks and were black and blue,” he said. “The young women were wrapped in blankets that were tied at each end. These female corpses were always naked. We buried several children, including two boys 18 months old. We found one man crucified to the back of a door. Once we picked up a garbage bag filled with 12 human heads.”(Source)

Witness Hasena M. :

“watched them put my mother and sister astride the parapet, like on a horse. I heard both women screaming, until they were shot in the stomach. They fell in the water – the men laughing as they watched. The water went red.” (Source)

Image: From Joe Sacco’s “Gorazde: A Safe Area”

Witness Hasnija Pjeva:

“If the Drina River could only speak, it could say how many dead were taken away,”(Source)

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