Thursday, May 01, 2008

City of the Imagination: Sarajevo

Author Tim Clancy is working on a volume on Sarajevo for the Signal Publishing series "Cities of Imagination."
At his blog Tim asks for readers to give their input and suggestions for the book:

The task at hand is not to write yet another historical depiction of Sarajevo. I do not want to talk about Ottoman occupation but rather the wonderful cultural influences and customs of the Ottomans. The Austrian annexation of BiH is often only seen through a historical or political perspective. We so rarely look at it as the Europeanization of Sarajevo. Tito's regime is all to often weighed by strong arguments from both sides whether he was a true dictator or magician in holding Yugoslavia together. But so few speak of the socialist cultural revolution that took place and the great artists and movements that this grassroots revolution created.

I certainly don't want to talk about Markala, the Vance-Owen plan, or Mitterand's visit to Sarajevo. I want to show the world how Oslobodenje printed the news every day of the modern worlds longest siege. How the Sarajevo Film Festival was born in 1994, the war theatre, the Miss Sarajevo contest....and how all these things shaped the post war cultural rennaissance. I need to show how these events, directly related to human experiences and not political ones, created the films of Danis Tanovic and Jasmila Zbanic and why the Sarajevo Film Festival has become as popular as it has. Where does Aleskander Hemon find his true inspiration...what makes Faruk Sehic and why did Namik Kabil come back from driving a taxi in LA to create the impeccable films and documentaries that he has.

So my message to you my dear, as citizens of this great city, despite all the stupid shit that goes on here, we have a serious task at hand. I kindly ask you to consider your comments carefully. I would love your help. Tell me your ideas. It's your city too. What we're lookin' for is nothing ordinary....quite the opposite actually. I want to tell stories of the water fountains, of the zanatlija, of tucano kahva, how we hid the Haggadah from the Nazi's, of the Ilegalci, of our forgotten poets, of Mak Dizdar writing Kameni Spavac in Male Daire, of Teta serving food to the poor on Bistrik....about what makes the heart of this city beat.

So, spread the word!

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