Bosnia: Rampant Festivals and Bankrupt Museums

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s major cultural institutions, including the National Museum, the Art Gallery and the National Film Archive, are in a state of neglect. The State does not support them, because doing so would imply acknowledging the existence of a common cultural and historical heritage. Some, in the capital’s artistic milieu, have suggested privatization.

Catalogue of Silence

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 4.39.34 PM “In the summers of 2013 and 2014, I spent time photographing, researching, and interviewing staff at several cultural institutions in Sarajevo that were either closed for lack of government funding or that operated under conditions that would be considered impossible anywhere in developed world. I worked in the National Museum (closed, most staff furloughed and, as of June 2013, director and senior curators owed nine months of salary), the National and University Library (operating in a temporary and highly unsuitable location, its holdings decimated by wartime incineration), the Museum of Literature and Performing Arts (in dire need of renovations and proper archival storage) and the Museum of History (open, as of June 2013, staff owed four months of salary). All of them were generously funded by the government when Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of six republics of socialist Yugoslavia. Since the war of 1992-95, the impoverished new government has relied on foreign aid and never developed a coherent plan for ongoing funding of these institutions. As in many “new democracies,” culture, education and health services have been largely gutted due to the pressures on governments to privatize assets and services on the one hand, and the culture of corruption and cronyism on the other. In Bosnia, problems are compounded by the wartime destruction and damage, by the exodus of professionals during the war and by the Kafkaesque governing structures.” A moving photo essay by the artist Tanja Softić

With the burning of the national archive, part of BH history is lost to ashes

Paljenjem arhiva izgorio  dio istorije BiH
Fena – 08.02.2014 14:21

SARAJEVO – The Office of the Archives of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina were completely burned down, but it is not yet clear whether the archive collection located in the basement was also destroyed – explained the director of archives Ademir Jerkovic for the Agency Fena.

Wichtige Archivunterlagen in Sarajevo verbrannt

Sarajevo – Einige der wichtigsten Archivunterlagen Bosnien-Herzegowinas sind am Freitag durch einen Brand, den Protestierende im Gebäude des Staatspräsidiums gelegt hatten, vernichtet worden. Dies bestätigte der Direktor des Archivs, Saban Zahirovic, gegenüber der Tageszeitung “Dnevni avaz”.

The Archive of BH burned down

For tranlation, paste the URLs into and choose “Bosnian” for the “from” option

Kad se vatra zgasi, dođe se pregledavati šteta. U slučaju Državnog Arhiva Bosne i Hercegovine, morat ćemo sačekati još neko vrijeme da se plamen zgasi, da se kopije iz bečkih arhiva ohlade i dokumentacija Komisije za utvrđivanje ratnih zločina iz Drugog svjetskog rata zgasne. Uposlenike Arhiva BiH čeka dolazak na zgarište, mirisi izgorenog papira i sprežene arhivske vrpce. Mukotrpan će biti posao pregledavanja preživjele dokumentacije i procjene štete. A, tek je treći dan protesta i građanskih nemira koji su zahvatili Bosni I Hercegovinu i pitanje je hoće li šteta za kulturu Republike BiH stati na ovome.

Piše: Mladen Vuković

The ‘Bosnian Spring’ Starts With a Bang

The Bosnian protests are the result of years of corruption, economic decay and in-fighting among ethno-political elites, but it is far from certain that they can bring real change.

Article published on BalkanInsight from Feb 14

Discussion: Can Culture be Shut Down? @ Wilson Center

                                              #CultureShutdown on Voice of America with Azra Akšamija and Jasmin Mujanović Click Here to view Culture Shutdown interview on Voice of America Audio of recent panel discussion at Wilson Center in Washington, […]

Archeological Musuem in Zagreb hosts the exhibition of Museum Solidarity photographs

8520137812_f4a61c14a8In solidarity with BH cultural institutions, the Archeological Museum in Zagreb commemorates the International Day of Museums by hosting the exhibition of Cultureshutdown’s campaign “Day of Museum Solidarity – 4 March.” The exhibition features selection of photographs documenting acts of solidarity by 225 participating institutions from 40 countries and 5 continent. The exhibition is organized by Mladen Vuković, Head Librarian at the Croatian Forest Research Institute in Zagreb, and Mario Levarda, collaborator of the Museums of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb.

Zatvoreni Zemaljski muzej BiH simbolično obilježio Međunarodni dan muzeja

Međunarodni dan muzeja, 18. maj, zatvoreni Zemaljski muzej BiH simbolično je obilježio ovaj datum kratkim programom koji su priredili učenici Osnovne škole ”Enver Čolaković” iz Breze.

Bosnia Museum Marks Key Birthday Closed

closedLovers of the Bosnian National Museum marked its 125th birthday in Sarajevo in a forlorn mood, by laying flowers and lighting candles, as the iconic institution is closed….Although the museum houses some of the country’s most important treasures, the management last year announced that they could no longer remain open owing to mounting debts and a lack of money to pay staff salaries.