Pulse.ba proudly presents a series of columns by Hristina Crenn* about her experiences travelling the Balkans

By Hristina Crenn

 

“I visited Sarajevo in July 2019. I was impressed by the marvelous memorial monuments dedicated to the innocent victims of the war - pain that we should never forget. Remembering their efforts, existence and identity means contributing greatly for the preservation of the international peace and security. The innocent war victims were our brothers and sisters part of our global human family. Forgetting them is an intentional betrayal for the whole humanity and our common sense of empathy. May the horrors of the war never repeat again. Hope never dies”.

(A message from Hristina Crenn)

History is a perpetual commencement. The cultural features of Sarajevo are unprecedentedly unique as a reflection of the existent original symbiosis of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian influences. The rhythm of the heart of Sarajevo vibrates around the impeccable charm of the city center, the wonderful smell of the delicious ‘Ćevapi’ (kebap), the ambrosial flavor of the ‘baklava’ (dessert) in the old town and the numerous historical monuments that constitute the soul of transitional justice. More precisely, Sarajevo is a veritable melting-pot of the Balkan region.

The Museum of Childhood reflects the painful journey of the survivors and heroes of the war atrocities. The universal message of this museum is the preservation of children’s memory as a constant reminder of the necessity to establish the indispensable existence of peace through the prism of time. Remembrance is the perennial mechanism of transitional justice that portrays simultaneously the fundamental process of constructing the durability of peace.

In addition to the cultural trajectory of Sarajevo, there is the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina as the most emblematic cultural institution of the country that represents the perfect labyrinth for history lovers. Diving deeply in the historical past of our ancestors is the infinite journey of collecting the various pieces of the unsolvable puzzle called life. The various memorial monuments encompass the eagerness for preserving the values of tolerance, patience, religious harmony, common consciousness and most notably ensuring the well-being of the inhabitants. Thus, the significant presence of cultural diversity of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities depicts the colorful centennial history of mutual harmony established meticulously over time.

The most distinguished memorial center is the Children’s Square of Sarajevo as a vivid remembrance of the innocent souls and victims of the merciless and hostile war acts. Walking in the park of the square and reading the carved marble inscriptions containing the names of the murdered children generates moments of sadness, tearfulness, emotions, anger and perplexity at the same time. Sadness for the deceased children, anger for the oppressors. The multiple meanings of the word Justice refer to the slowness of the obsolete jurisdictional mechanisms that fail to grant reparations to the families of the victims within a specific period of time due to the absence of reciprocal research of evidence for establishing the truth.

The most incredible place of the city is the monument of the ‘Eternal flame’ that literally ‘prolongs’ the life of the innocent victims through the lenses of the phenomenon of remembrance. Sarajevo is definitely the place everyone must visit, at least once in a lifetime.

*Hristina Crenn is a bachelor student of Law at Paris 1 Panthéon - Sorbonne University (France) and History and Political Science and International Relations at Ibn Haldun University (Turkey).