Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dragan Paravinja who confessed to have strangled the 17-year-old Antonia Bilic from Drnis is suspected of killing a Slovenian girl missing since 2007.

Paravinja implicated in case of missing Slovenian girl
Dragan Paravinja who confessed to have strangled the 17-year-old Antonia Bilic from Drnis is suspected of killing a Slovenian girl missing since 2007.

The 17-year-old Doroteja Pasar is believed to have been hitchhiking on the night of 29 September 2007 when she went missing. She never arrived home after meeting a friend earlier that evening on the outskirts of Ljubljana.

After Pasar’s family found out about the serial rapist Dragan Paravinja implicated in the case of still-missing Antonia Bilic, Doroteja’s aunt Dragica Zupancic contacted the police, unnerved by the coincidences of the two cases.

In 2008, after a failed police investigation, the desparate Pasar family had contacted a seer who told them he had seen that the girl had been picked up by a man with blue eyes, who raped and strangled her.

Slovenia’s Ministry of Interior confirmed that Paravinja was in the country at the time of the girl’s disappearance.

He was arrested on 9 March in Slovenia on a warrant issued by Serbia. He was released to defend himself on 4 April.

Paravinja registered his residency in Slovenia under the obligation to report to the police until he was extradited to Serbia. In May he was arrested in Germany and deported back to Slovenia.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Disappearance of Melinda Corovic from Ilidza, who was gone missing without any trace on June 26th, was reported to the police by her father Zecir.

After messaging via Facebook Melinda Corovic gone missing
Disappearance of Melinda Corovic from Ilidza, who was gone missing without any trace on June 26th, was reported to the police by her father Zecir.

According to “Dnevni avaz” daily, Melinda was allegedly using Facebook for massaging with an unknown man whom she planned to meet on the day she disappeared, and never came back.

Apparently, Melinda sent SMS to her parents informing them she got married and that she will contact them within three days.

However, she did not contact them anymore.

Police works on solving of this case.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bosnia: Searching for Closure Dijana Muminovic's work about Srebrenica needs your support!

I recently came across Dijana Muminovic's website and plea for support for her projects. I find her photography work striking and her to be a passionate supporter of Bosnia and her work speaks for itself.

Her images of Srebrenica are striking and remind me of Tarik Samarah's photography book "Srebrenica".

Please check out her sites and if you have the means and the will donate to her fantastic project.

Dear Supporters,

I'm a Bosnian-American photojournalist, and have been working on this documentary project following the continued search for loved ones still buried in mass graves 19 years after the Bosnian war. This is not the pretty side of Bosnia I would have liked to portray, but this is what’s been done to my country, and, for the sake of the truth a more promising future, I have pursued this project for the past year and a half to help bring some closure to the thousands who still suffer.

From 1992-1995 about 30,000 Bosnians disappeared. Years later, their bodies were found in mass graves, piled on top of one another. Some of the most known massacres happened in Srebrenica, Visegrad and Prijedor, but there are many others as well throughout the countryside. More than 400 mass graves have been discovered, and just in November 2010, researches found three more. Thousands of people are still missing.

During the war, mothers used to hope their sons and husbands would return alive. Today they move back years of piled leaves and earth, hoping to find pieces of their families for proper burials.

How can we help?
Making the images is only the first step. Documentary photography is meant for large audiences, and to share my work, to communicate the stories of these women and to reinforce how devastating the lingering effects of war are, I need to show my work to others.

For the 16th anniversary of the Srebrenica

As evidence of the continued saga of this sad story, last week, war criminal Ratko Mladic was arrested. He was accused for the siege of Sarajevo and responsible for the Srebrenica genocide and 8,000 lives lost there.

So how can we help the people directly affected by the genocide?
Many mass graves have yet to be found, and if my project makes one person to react to help speed up the process of finding the mass graves, then I will consider this a success. Tens of thousands of Bosnians live all over the world, and many still have yet to find closure to their loss.  My goal is that this project raises awareness and raises the need to find closure.

Your contribution?
In an effort to reach my goals, I am hoping to raise $5,500 to help put exhibitions in US, Bosnia, and Canada. The money raised from this campaign will directly support the exhibition of this project.

This is a big goal. But I’m a believer. And with your help it will be easier. So help me reach my goal.  Spread the word about this video. Share it with your friends.

The link to donate...

Dijana Muminovic's website...

Her photo blog...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bulls fans need to lighten up on Nikola Mirotic, the man is a baller!

Ever since the Bulls picked Nikola Mirotic (6'10" 220lbs 1991 SF/PF) in the 2011 NBA draft all I have heard is derision for the pick. Bulls fans really need to lighten up and take a deep breath, this guy is a real genuine baller.
Barely 20 years old (turned 20 in February) he played a lead role on one of the best teams in Europe. He went from a non rotation player at the beginning of the year to the 6th man and a guy who played key moments down the stretch of games for Real Madrid. These games were played against some of the best players in Europe including against NBA level talent and guys who are physically much more mature than Nikola. Real Madrid ran offense for him when games were on the line and at times was their go to guy down the stretch and he often rewarded them with great play.
He is a better talent than Donatas Motiejunas who is a year older than Nikola and hasn't seen quite the same level of competition (even though they both play in Euroleague) or received near the level of coaching Nikola has received. Nikola is a much more physical presence than Donatas as well as being a true competitor. Nikola wasn't invited to the Adidas Eurocamp that pushed guys like Bismack Byombo to the lottery as his buyout and contract status as well as late end to the season (he was just ending his season as the camp started) benifited the Bulls greatly.
He dominated  in the NIJT Hospitalet game against FMP with his monster numbers: 35 points, 23 rebounds, 9 steals, 6 blocks, 9/9 from the field, 1/1 threes and 14/14 free throws for an overall ranking of 84! You have to understand that an amazing performance gives you a ranking in the high 20's low 30's and he nearly tripled those numbers! It was the most amazing performance in a tournament game since Toni Kukoc knocked down 11-12 3pt shots against a USA team in 1987!
Nikola had some huge games in Europe this year hitting 6 of 6 from 3 in big European matches. His stats for this year are gaudy...
Real Madrid – Spain ACB: 15 mpg, 8.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg. FG 59%, 3PT 48%, FT 89%
 Real Madrid – Euroleague: 14 mpg, 7.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg. FG 61%, 3PT 45%, FT 86%  

His shot is for a big man is the best I have seen since Dirk Nowitzki, although he lacks the ball handling, rebounding, passing and post game that makes Dirk so dominate. His shot for a big man is unbelievable and the competition level is so high that you shouldn't sleep on him. He was a great pick for the Bulls and will make at worst the best 6th man in the NBA and possibly one of the best big men in the NBA when he finally comes over.
It was a great pick as the Bulls roster is already loaded and they didn't want to add a bunch of additional guaranteed money this year. He will wait a minimum of two years possibly four before he comes to the NBA. This arrangement will benefit both the Bulls and Nikola.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A sure sign of the Apocalypse, Bosnia Sarajevo McDonald's to open in July!

A sure sign of the Apocalypse, Sarajevo McDonald's to open in July!

Finally after 20 years of declaring Independence from Yugoslavia Bosnia will be getting the first two McDonald's in the country next month in Sarajevo. They are slated to open July 17, 2011 in Sarajevo with another to open in Baja Luka in the future. It has been a long time coming and a difficult process for those who support economic freedom and opportunities. Hopefully this will help fuel Bosnian investment and more people will share in this countries great future!

The official statement from McDonald's states...

McDonald’s Europe has announced that the first McDonald’s restaurant will open in Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the third quarter of 2011, and will be followed by additional restaurants, including a restaurant in Banja Luka, which is subject to local authority approval.
The restaurants in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be operated by Developmental Licensee companies, GLIESE 581g d.o.o. and Dreamfoods Restorani d.o.o, who have obtained master franchise rights for the country. The companies will be responsible for the capital investments to expand operations and promote the McDonald’s brand in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
McDonald’s has been using Developmental License structure as a form of franchising for more than 30 years to grow the brand by leveraging expertise and entrepreneurial spirit on a local basis.
Steve Easterbrook, President of McDonalds Europe, said: "We are pleased to bring McDonald’s to new customers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our Developmental Licensees are well placed to provide an outstanding restaurant experience and long term sustainable benefits for local staff, suppliers and the McDonald’s brand."

Saturday, June 25, 2011



(Top 3 pics Arkan's men killing civilian's in 1992)
(4th pic Srebrenica mass grave, these innocent men and boys were killed, their bodies buried, then to hide their crimes the bodies were dug up and reburied in other locations)
(5th pic Bosnian camp inmates at Omarska)
(6th pic Bosnian Serb policeman shooting an innocent Bosnian civilian)
(7th pic Bosnian civilian executed in 1992)

The war in Bosnia is most memorable from the Siege of Sarajevo (were 10,000 civilians died including over 1,000 children) and the Srebrenica genocide (were over 8,000 men and boys were killed). There were many more instances of genocide from the war recognized by the German government and others, Visegrad (thousands killed including over 100 crowded into a house that was then set on fire including babies and pregnant women), Sanski Most, Omarska, Zvornik, Doboj and so many other places. Genocide was an active policy of ethnic cleansing, mass rape, mass murder, genocide and ethnic humiliation led by the rebel Bosnian Serb forces. NEVER FORGET!!!!!!!!!


NOTE: If you had any trouble embedding the badge on your blog, please try copying and pasting the code again. It's been fixed. Thank you!

Become a part of the solution:
Join the International Campaign to End Bosnian Genocide Denial. Copy and paste this code on your blog or web site:
Currently, former Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic are both on trial on two counts of genocide and other war crimes. Their revised indictment (shortened to speed up the trial) includes the following charges:

 Count 1: Genocide  at Bratunac, Foča, Ključ, Kotor Varoš, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Vlasenica and Zvornik.
 Count 2: Genocide  at Srebrenica.
Count 3: Persecutions at Banja Luka, Bijeljina, Bosanska Krupa, Bosanski Novi, Bratunac, Brčko, Foča, Hadžići, Ilidža, Kalinovik, Ključ, Kotor Varoš, Novi Grad, Novo Sarajevo, Pale, Prijedor, Rogatica, Sanski Most, Sokolac, Trnovo, Vlasenica, Vogošca, Zvornik and Srebrenica.
Count 4: Extermination, a Crime Against Humanity
Count 5: Murder, a Crime Against Humanity
Count 6: Murder, a Violation of the Laws or Customs of War
Count 7: Deportation, a Crime Against Humanity
Count 8: Inhumane Acts, a Crime Against Humanity
Count 9: Terror, a Violation of the Laws or Customs of War
Count 10: Unlawful Attacks on Civilians, a Violation of the Laws or Customs of War
Count 11: Taking of Hostages, a Violation of the Laws or Customs of War

To learn more about the 1992-95 Bosnian Genocide, go to:


Friday, June 24, 2011

Sarajevo, Bosnia:Dodik talks "highly autonomous RS within Bosnia" Wants to finish what Karadzic started

Dodik talks "highly autonomous RS within Bosnia"

BELGRADE -- Republic of Srpska’s goal is significant autonomy up to the level of full independence within Bosnia, RS President Milorad Dodik told daily Večernje Novosti.

He added that people of the Serb entity (RS) supported the idea.

“Bosnia, the way it has been until now, cannot exist. It has to start talks about a different internal organization. Bosnia can survive as a territorially united country. But with strong confederal units and great autonomy of the RS up to the level of full independence within Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is our next goal. And we have people’s support for it,” Dodik was quoted as saying.

“We will demand authorities that have been taken away, as well as transferring decision making to lower levels. If someone wants to preserve Bosnia, this is the only way to do it,” the RS president pointed out.

He said that “only army, monetary policy, foreign policy, but the one that has been agreed, and maybe two or three more sectors could remain at the level of Bosnia-Herzegovina”.

“Everything else is unsustainable because a centralized Bosnia, dominated by the Muslims, will not work. Ethnically clean Sarajevo, where according to their estimates 94 percent of Muslims live, is the best proof of how they would create their multi-ethnic romance. And the German chancellor openly says that multi-ethnicity is a failed project.

What would have happened if I had said that? What would the likes of Kandić, Liht and Popov do? They would call me genocidal! Well, we don’t want Sarajevo-style multi-ethnicity! This is the reason for some sort of alliance with Croats whose goal is to prevent that,” Dodik explained.

The RS president also said he believed that there were fewer opponents of RS’ independence within Bosnia-Herzegovina and that the fact that executive government cannot be formed on the state level proves that the country was currently unsustainable.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Pillar of Shame project Srebrenica Bosnia please help donate!


The Pillar of Shame project

The Pillar of Shame will serve as a metaphor for the immense betrayal of the United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as a warning to all future co-workers of the United Nations. The plan: the 16,744 shoes (representing 8,372 victims) should form two gigantic letters measuring eight metres in height and coloured in shimmering white. The two letters (‘U’ and ‘N’) will be penetrated by three monumental bullet holes with real shoes found in mass graves embedded in them.
The Centre for Political Beauty reaches over to the mothers of Srebrenica and will erect the anticipated Pillar of Shame. The project aims to erect a permanent sculpture serving as a lasting reminder of the guilt of western politicians and military officials for the genocide of Srebrenica. – Against oblivion of Europe’s ‘Nights of shame’ (Bogdan Bogdanović).
The actual location of the Pillar of Shame, and the names of western politicians and army generals whose names will be shamed by the Pillar will be selected by the mothers themselves. The Centre for Political Beauty and the Society for Threatened Peoples that together organised one of the biggest memorials for the genocide of Srebrenica in 2009, will also initiate a discussion about the responsibility of the United Nations that has been completely pushed aside in the West for the last fifteen years.

Holes -  The holes will be embedded with real shoes found in mass graves. The shoes will be protected by airproof plexiglas and will thus form metaphorical ‘fuel rods’ burnt into the monument by the three holes.

Western guilt -  We will engage renowned Bosnian Artists for the question, how the names will be included into the sculpture.

White concrete - The 16,744 will individually be cast in white concrete. They will fill up the steel construction.

Decency - The sculpture is a direct answer to the fact that the people of the West have no respect toward the survivors of the genocide. Because of the outrageous treason, altogether 8,372 people were killed in Srebrenica and even many more in the rest of the country.

Holes -  The holes will be embedded with real shoes found in mass graves. The shoes will be protected by airproof plexiglas and will thus form metaphorical ‘fuel rods’ burnt into the monument by the three holes.

Western guilt -  We will engage renowned Bosnian Artists for the question, how the names will be included into the sculpture.

White concrete - The 16,744 will individually be cast in white concrete. They will fill up the steel construction.

Decency - The sculpture is a direct answer to the fact that the people of the West have no respect toward the survivors of the genocide. Because of the outrageous treason, altogether 8,372 people were killed in Srebrenica and even many more in the rest of the country.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The BBI Center in Sarajevo and the Sarajevo Canton received the prestigious "Restore Award" for the best shopping center in Europe!

BBI center before (when it was Sarajka) and after

SARAJEVO, June 20 (FENA) – The BBI Center in Sarajevo and the Sarajevo Canton received the prestigious "Restore Award" for the best shopping center in Europe, awarded by the jury of the International Council of Shopping Centers at the biggest competition of retail outlets in Europe.
The prize is awarded for an exceptional combination of shopping, architecture, design, and contribution to society and the environment in which the center is located.
The Sarajevo Canton earned the award for its active support to the construction of the BBI Center.
Director of BBI Real Estate d.o.o., Sarajevo, owner of the BBI Center, Sead Zivalj said at today's press conference in Sarajevo on his return from Paris that this year more than 30 shopping centers were nominated for the award.
The International Council of Shopping Centers is the largest and most prestigious organization of its kind, with headquarters in New York and around 60.000 members from around the world.

The BBI Center is built entirely by local forces, from the design, construction works, to the commercialization of the center. The investment amounted to 70 million KM and the center opened on 6 April 2009.

The project architect of the BBI Center, Sead Golos said that the award is given for the restoration of urban area in this part of town, the site of a former department store "Sarajka" and that the basic criteria of the jury were financial indicators, the concept of shopping space and organization and architecture.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sarajevo poster contest: What does Sarajevo mean to you?

One of the coolest things I have come across in Sarajevo in awhile was this little weird book made by Vive le Talent at the bookstore buybook. It was a brown cardboard box with a little black ribbon on it and inside was a collection of 122 postcard sized posters from a contest entitled "Sarajevo Poster". Some of them were just unbelievably fantastic. So much so that I put them together in a collage print, made it into a poster and hung them on my wall. It reminded me so much of the trio Sarajevo postcards, but with a more modern, more original twist to it. Some of the individual posters are just amazing and should be reproduced and sold in the city, I believe.
They held a contest to see which ones were the best (judges included Danis Tanovic, Florence Hartman and others). The winner was two artists Adnan Jasika and Dzenat Drekovic (I am not sure which poster won the contest). This little book is a great memory for me of my last trip to Sarajevo.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Missing Croatian girl, If anyone has any information please help!

Truck driver tried to pick up another girl before taking missing Antonia Bilic
The truck driver who was seen picking up 17-year-old Antonia Bilic missing since last week, had tried to pick up another girl earlier the same day, the investigation has uncovered.

On the same Tuesday when Bilic disappeared, another girl was hitchhiking near a small town on the outskirts of Split, wanting to go to the city.

The truck driver stopped and tried to convince her to board his vehicle. He was skinny and pale, almost twice her age, the girl - whose identity was not disclosed - remembered.  She was hesitant – the driver had come from the opposite direction.

The girl refused his offer to take her "wherever you want to go." She remembered he was missing a tooth.

The incident happened some 30 kilometres from Drnis, where later the same day, Antonia Bilic would board an unknown truck.

The man had apparently turned from the opposite direction to pick her up.

The entire Croatia has been looking for the missing 17-year-old. Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor has contacted the family and extended her support.

For any information on Antonia’s whereabouts, please contact the nearest police station or the girl’s family directly at 095/860-0777 or 095/860-0776.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Direct flights from Rockford IL to Zagreb and Belgrade started this week!

ZAGREB, June 15 (FENA) - Rockford International Airport (RFD), located 140 kilometres northwest of Chicago, announced on Tuesday it was offering its first transatlantic flights as of this month, with charter service to Zagreb and Belgrade starting on June 17, the local television network WIFR said on its website.

After Calcun, Mexico, Zagreb and Belgrade are the second and third international destinations that can be reached directly from Rockford, a city of about 150,000 in the north of the US state of Illinois.

Air Plus, a public charter company based in Chicago, will offer the once-weekly flights nonstop to Zagreb, with continuing service on to Belgrade. Flights will depart RFD Friday evenings and return Sunday afternoons. Flights are public charters on Boeing 767s operated by Swift Air, based in Phoenix, Arizona. Flights can be booked at or by calling (011) 877-849-5002. The price is US$ 1,099.

These will be the first nonstop flights to Zagreb from the Chicago area in nearly two decades, said Dusan Milicevic, general manager of Air Plus. Flights will appeal to the large Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian communities in Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and St. Louis, as well as European travelers looking for good deals. These flights will be offered for 13 weeks and already approximately 2,000 seats of the 3,000 total seats have been sold.

Milicevic said there is high demand for travel between the Midwest and southeastern Europe, especially during these summer months, and a large network of travel agents who cater to that demand. Air Plus also offers tours of Serbia, Croatia and nearby countries. Also, Zagreb and Belgrade offer convenient starting points for other European vacations.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Srebrenica Genocide Map Goes on Display

Srebrenica Genocide Map Goes on Display

The “Srebrenica – Mapping Genocide” project was unveiled on Friday as the 16th anniversary of the 1995 mass slaughter by Serbs in the eastern Bosnian town approaches. The projects's authors say the goal is prevent manipulation of the facts about the massacre.
Eldin Hadzovic
Introductory video of the project Srebrenica - Mapping Genocide
The project “Mapping Genocide” is presented in the form of an animated documentary, which uses 17 maps to show how the massacre unfolded.

Viewers will have the opportunity to see detailed maps of the events before, during, and after the fall of the town to General Ratko Mladic's forces on July 11.
These maps can be watched individually, and the users will have access to all available documents, profiles, reports and video, all available on the website

The video covers the period chronologically from July 6 to July 19 1995, and lasts 220 minutes in total.

Bosnian Serb forces killed some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the days after they captured the then UN-protected enclave of Srebrenica.

The massacre, which took place five months before the end of Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, has been qualified as genocide by the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, both based in The Hague.

Most of the 8,000 or so victims have been found in secondary graves, as Serb forces moved remains from initial burial sites to cover up the crimes.

The reconstruction of the Srebrenica events through interactive material was implemented by the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, an NGO, in Sarajevo.

Suada Kapic, author of the “Srebrenica – Mapping Genocide” project, which was initially published last year and distributed in DVD format, told Balkan Insight that the main goal was to prevent manipulation of the facts about the Srebrenica genocide.

“All the evidence in the material is based on relevant rulings of the courts in Hague and on original documents provided by the UN, and the Republika Srpska government. The viewers will now have the chance to use our material for research, or simply to watch the whole video,” Kapic told Balkan Insight.

“We do not consent to the manipulation with facts considering genocide in Srebrenica, which is, sadly to say, common in the Bosnian political milieu,” she added.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Concrete Relics of Bygone Yugoslavia Slip into Oblivion

Concrete Relics of Bygone Yugoslavia Slip into Oblivion

Originally posted in Balkan insight
Few now visit the gigantic concrete memorials of the Tito era. But these monuments offer a window into the mentality of the former Balkan state, a new book by a Belgian photographer explains.
Almost exactly 20 years ago, on June 25, 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence, and so went the nation of “brotherhood and unity” – to borrow from the Communist-era slogan about the Yugoslav federation.
Today, memories of Yugoslavia are fading, and the monuments built by, or to, the charismatic strongman, Josip Broz Tito, are all but forgotten.
Each spomenik, or monument, in the Slavic tongue, is reminder of the complicated legacy of ethnic harmony, prosperity, repression, and ultimately the cataclysmic failure, of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, SFRY.
Tito, who led Yugoslavia from 1945 until his death in 1980, commissioned monuments throughout the country immediately after World War II. Most honoured Partisan fighters, Communist heroes and Tito himself. Now, few visit them.
Located in towns and villages all over former Yugoslavia, thousands of gigantic monuments remain, abandoned, their original meaning fading from the fore. With the former republic now a mosaic of seven independent states, new national identities have supplanted the old collective loyalty.
“People don’t like the monuments. They are not keen on them and the ideology which they represent has no meaning for the new states in the Balkans,” says Jan Kempenaers, a Belgian photographer who has been visiting these relics for more than a decade. His book, Spomenik, explores their meaning through 25 different monuments.
Many also are difficult to locate.
“They are often located so deep in the mountains that only the people who live there know even where to find them and how to get there, so local people had to help me find the paths to the abandoned monuments,” Kempenaers says.
Most are abandoned and are not protected as cultural heritage. They include wired shapes of winged eyes, giant flowers and concrete UFO. The material of choice: beton brut. This reinforced concrete was favoured for its strength and flexibility.
Tito also handpicked renounced designers to develop these giant, concrete tributes.
Writing for the German magazine Der Spiegel, Angela Franz singles out Dusan Dzemonja, a famous sculptor who created “Spomenik Revolucije,” which towers like a giant winged eye on the battlefield near the Croatian town of Podgaric Berek.
Franz also points to Vojin Bakic, who designed the unearthly spomenik at Petrova Gora, where the Partisans’ main field hospital was located, and Bogdan Bogdanovic, who created the “Stone Flower” in the World War II concentration camp at Jasenovac.   
“Half of my classmates died in the war, the other half fought each other, by being either Communists or anti-Communists,” Bogdanovic says in “Circle of Memory,” a 2007 documentary by Italian architect Andrea Rossini. “I can only say this: ... I've seen it, I've lived it, and I did not understand it,” he added.
Bogdanovic, who died in Vienna last year, intended his flower made of cement as a symbol of peace.
Selective memories:
Wolfgang Höpken, a professor of Eastern and South-eastern European History at the University of Leipzig, locates popular indifference to the monuments in the fact that they represent only the Partisan version of history. They are very selective, leaving out many others who took part in the war.
“These monuments are institutional memories, and represent only constructed memories by the state, not individual memories,” Höpken told a conference organized by the Italian-based Osservatiori sui Balcani. “They were selective and strongly biased, and were created from winner’s position, excluding all others who were not directly involved with the Partisan war.”
But in “Circle of Memory,” Rossini takes a more nuanced position. He argues that these monuments contributed something to the collective memory of World War II in Yugoslavia.
“Free of the dogmas of Stalinist aesthetics, artists such as Dusan Dzemonja, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Milodrag Zivkovic created extraordinary monuments that have become places of memory of the Communist regime that built them,” he says.

The Jasenovac Flower
The Jasenovac Flower Monument by Bogdan Bogdanovic | photo by Luka Zanoni, Osservatiorio sui Balcani
The monument created by architect Bogdan Bogdanovic was unveiled in 1966 on the site where Croatia’s World War II Fascist government ran an extermination camps for Serbs, Jews, Roma and political dissidents.
After the museum opened in 1968, Jasenovac was proclaimed a Memorial site. During the war of the 1990s the monument was damaged and the museum pillaged.
But the memorial was reopened in 2004 following rebuilding of the “Flower” and repair of the museum.
Memorial Website:

The Mrakovica ‘Tower’
Kozara, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Monument of Mrakovica Tower, by Dusan Dzamonja | Andrea Rossini, Osservatorio sui Balcani
The monument, designed by the architect Dusan Dzamonja, was unveiled on mount Mrakovica in 1972 in memory of one of the most tragic episodes of the Second World War.
On Kozara following a long siege, thousands of partisans and civilians lost their lives at the hands of Nazi troops supported by the Ustasha. All survivors, died in Jasenovac, where they had been deported.
The ‘Tower’ was built in Kozara National Park situated in the north-west of Bosnia and Herzegovina, near the rivers Una, Savam Sana, and Vrbas.
The Memorial site was stage to new violence during the war of the 1990s and today is in a state of abandon. Thanks to foreign donations, the museum is currently being renovated.
Park Website:

The Sutjeska ‘Columns’
Sutjeska, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Monument of Sutjeska, by Miodrag Zivkovic | photo by Andrea Rossini, Osservatorio sui Balcani
Designed by the sculptor Miodrag Zivkovic, the monument was unveiled in 1971 at the site of one of the bloodiest battles between the Axis Forces and the Yugoslav People’s Liberation
Army during the Second World War.
The memorial is found in the Sutjeska National Park, included in the municipalities of Foca and Gacko in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Neglected during the war of the 1990sm it was reopened in August 1996 on the decision of the Republic of Srpska (BiH) authorities.
Park Website:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Top 10 books about Bosnia, Sarajevo and Bosnian culture and history

Most books you find on Bosnia are going to be the Subject of war and tragedies. There is no denying the culture of Bosnia, unfortunately many peoples exposure to Bosnia is from WWI and the Bosnian war. The one exception to this was that glorious moment in 1984 when Sarajevo and all of Yugoslavia held the 1984 Olympics, short on western amenities, the 1984 games were long on kindness and charity to the people who went to Sarajevo and is something they will never forget. Bosnia, however has a rich cultural history brought upon it by being the crossroads of so many civilizations. Bosnia through it's history has had to be open to other cultures and ways of living. The Bogomils, the indigenous people of Bosnia had a very open minded culture and was accepting of travellers and their cultures, this belief is alive and well in Bosnia.

Bosnia has so much to offer the world besides war, it's culture of tolerance and inclusion is battered but alive and these books speak to the greatness and beauty that is Bosnia and Herzegovina. The only omission from this list is Tim Clancy's travel books on Bosnia made by Brandt travel. Really the only travel books of consequence ever produced for Bosnia in it's rich history.

1) Culture Smart Bosnia and Herzegovina: A great resource on life and culture of Bosnia. It really tells the story well of the people of Bosnia and their rich cultural and heritage.

2) The Best of Bosnia and Herzegovina: A great reference showing all that Bosnia has to offer. A large picture book that shows all the regions and major towns.

3) Forgotten Sarajevo-Miroslav Prstojevic: A rich book about the culture and history a well written historical guide thru Sarajevo.

4) My lovely Bosnia-Christian Schwager: A great photo book showing the beauty of Bosnia.

5) Pictures without borders Bosnia revisited-Steve Horn: A interesting book from Steve Horn who travelled Bosnia in the 1970's and returned in the late 1990's to revisit the region.

6) Sarajevo-Svjetlost: A great photo book by famous publishing house Svjetlost showing Sarajevo at it's finest even in it's postwar period.

7) Sarajevo S Ljubavlju-Ivo Eterovic: A beautiful photo book made around the time of the 1984 Sarajevo winter Olympics showing Sarajevo in all of it's glory.

8) Tuzland Knjiga o Tuzli-Fatmir Alispahic: A great look at a often forgot about town Tuzla, the regional hub and cultural center of northern Bosnia.

9) Sarajeska Fukra Sarajevo Way-Jasminko Halilovic & Asija Kamaric: A great book written about life and culture in Sarajevo and what is a must see to understand the Sarajevo way...

10) A centennial of Bosniaks in America: A rich book showing the cultural history and contributions of Bosniaks in America.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sarajevan Nihad Dedovic pulls his name from 2011 NBA draft

Nihad Dedovic (6'5" SG/SF 1990) Has pulled his name from the 2011 NBA draft. After experiencing a lot of admiration and support for his basketball career as a early 15-16 year old phenom with Sarajevo outfit KK BOSNA ASA, Dedovic hasn't developed as hoped in the last few years since going to Italy. Nihad's basketball drive and commitment were unquestioned when he was in Sarajevo, he ate, slept and breathed basketball and seemed to be a good candidate to ascend to the legend of Nenad Markovic and to accept the position as the best basketball player from Bosnia. It seems the distractions of money and lifestyle in Italy has distracted Nihad from his basketball commitments and is more interested in the lifestyle of a basketball professional than being driven to be the best. His outside shot hasn't developed and his weaknesses of a few years ago, lateral quickness, explosiveness, his handle and his outside shooting still  remain weaknesses. The athleticism can only be improved marginally but the other aspects of his game are under his control and must be improved to reach his potential. Nihad will have a chance to get drafted next year, but I believe he was surprised by the lack of interest in him by NBA scouts after so much attention has been paid to him throughout his career so far.


(Miralem Halilovic and Adin Vrabac)

In KSBiH's most serious attempt at putting together a competitive youth team, they have finally put together a quality list of potential candidates together. A lot of credit has to go to one man not well known behind the scenes for BiH, a true basketball lover Nedzad Kladusak. He really pushed for inclusion finally for many players of BiH origins who play in other countries.
 This years U20 B tournament will be held in basketball loving Sarajevo in July. Bosnia hasn't participated in the U20 tournament in a few years because of funding shortfalls and ineptitude on the part of Bosnian officials. Basketball is loved in Bosnia, second only to football and many great players got their start in their homeland of Bosnia. Bosnia will have a chance at a good showing with some commitment and great showing by it's players.

Igor Hadziomerovic who is from Sarajevo, grew up in Australia and is playing college basketball next year at Boise State isn't on this list but would have been a great candidate for the team.

Gavrilo Markovic is a good young PG talent who is playing in Spain and would have been a great addition to the team
Dragan Sekelja is a 7'0" center playing for Baylor University who would have been a great addition as well.

Three "Slovenians" really stick out in my mind though Alen Omic (a 7'0" center from Bosnia who continued to get better through the year) Mirza Saralijija (who had a awful year in Bosna two years ago after signing with KK BOSNA ASA) and Edo Muric who plays a major role for his Slovenian team.

Loncar Srdan (Borac, Banja Luka)
 Ivic Ranko (Borac, Banja Luka)
 Rikalo Marko (Leotar, Trebinje)
Begagic Dino (Celik, Zenica) Got some minutes with middling first division team Celik, which has produced some great talent over the years.
Gajic Nikola (USA) signed to play college basketball in the US at Jacksonville next year
 Vrabac Adin (Spars Sarajevo) Possibly the number one prospect in Bosnia (since Sandro Gacic is playing in Spain)
 Bulic Mirza (Sloboda,Tuzla) played a large role on a usually surprising Sloboda team, they produce the best talent in Bosnia and make quality teams out of an extremely low budget.
 Crnogorac Aleksandar (Leotr, Trebinje)
 Merdanovic Eldar (Celik, Zenica) saw limited minutes in Celik this year
 Halilovic Miralem (Zagreb,Zagreb) If he doesn't make the senior national team will be the leader of this club.
 Buza Nermin (Bosna, Sarajevo) Saw a few minutes with the disappointing KK BOSNA team, one of the young players they are trying to develop
Markovic Miljan (Helios,Slovenia) A good prospect with some upside.
Dizdarevic Rasim (Spain) Getting good training and development in Spain.
 Lukic Mladen (Tubingen, Germany)
Mujic Ernad (Bosna, Sarajevo), Had some good showings with KK BOSNA this year, has good size, needs to add strength.
 Sladoje Nemanja (Sutjeska, Foca)
 Hurtic Dzenan (France) A big man with a lot of upside, he could bring some quality experience to the team.
Sefic Ismet (Turkey)
 Bodiroga Goran (Zrinjski, Mostar)
Maksimovic Nebojsa (Celik, Zenica) played some minutes for Celik this year.
Vukovic Obrad (Leotar, Trebinje)
 Kovacevic Mirko (Leotar, Trebinje)
 Petrovic Filip (Zrinjski, Mostar) Has some serious scoring and rebounding ability, surprisingly has seen limited time on the junior national teams so far in his career.
Glogovac Stefan (Spars Sarajevo)
Leko Ante (Posusje) 
 Karic Muamer (Magic, Tuzla)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

BOSNIA:The author of 'Zlata's Diary' explains why the arrest of Ratko Mladic brings no closure in itself

Mladic's victims still suffer from his awful legacy

Author: Zlata Filipovic
Uploaded: Thursday, 09 June, 2011

The author of 'Zlata's Diary' explains why the arrest of Ratko Mladic brings no closure in itself
The arrest of General Ratko Mladic (and I feel uncomfortable calling him a general, as it presumes an element of respect and recognition of his status in society) suggests a moment of elation, proposes celebration, invokes an ending of something.
Milan Kundera starts his novel Ignorance with a scene of conversation between Irena, a Czech ‘refugee’ living in France, and her French friend who, upon finding out about political changes in Irena’s native country, exclaims how exciting it must be for Irena – what wonderful things are going on in her country, and how she can now finally go ‘home’. There is certainly an echo of this in the suggested and perceived reactions from the ‘outsiders’ who are less acquainted with the war in former Yugoslavia. The line of thinking is: you wanted this, you got it, let us put a bow on this conflict, let us finish this chapter, let us put this episode in the filing cabinet.
Closure – that word often falls from the lips of those who ask for my reaction. An expectant smile is stretched across their face and I feel bad about disappointing with my somewhat flat response.
I need to explain myself. It is good news that Mladic was caught. However, I wish I had leapt from a chair when I heard the news, or I wish this arrest would represent some sort of a ‘closure’ for me. All I can say is that the effect of Mladic’s bloody and warped military ‘successes’ is something that remains and defines my life, and the lives of so many. I lived in Sarajevo for almost two years of the siege which lasted 44 months; the darkest, most hopeless, broken, dangerous, deprived period of my life.
I was the 11-year-old girl that some 18,000 of Mladic’s soldiers with snipers on the hills around Sarajevo could see running across the bridge in front of my house. My father was the one carrying plastic containers from the pump that was providing drinking water for a city of half a million and my mother is the one who was on her way to stand and wait in the bread queue to which soldiers from the hills sent a bomb that killed 19 and wounded 157 civilians.
I was lucky not to be included in the statistic of 1,500 murdered children from a total of 10,000 who died of bombs, mortars, snipers and lack of food, water and medication in Sarajevo.
We lived through apocalyptic times, where we were shelled heavily, daily and indiscriminately because of our nationalities and ethnic identities, we were being killed because we were civilians in a city which Mladic and his henchmen hated – for everything multiethnic and multicultured that it represented.
Mladic is one of those who gives Serbs a bad name, all Serbs, including those who stayed in the city, like our friends and neighbours, and who shared every dark reality of the Sarajevo siege.
While he is now in The Hague for all the crimes he is indicted for, for me personally, his responsibility lies in the fact that he and his soldiers killed my 11 -year-old friend Nina in a park in front of our house, that my mother’s cousin is dead, and that my city and all the lives in it were broken and still suffer the consequences of his bloodthirsty hate and madness. I could have died, I should have died, the 18,000 troops around the hills of Sarajevo wanted me to die.
Justice, whatever the outcome, will never be fully satisfied. I always use the analogy of a minor crime: if someone steals your handbag, they are found, and tried. Of course this should happen. Responsibility should be investigated and reprisal delivered. However the handbag that your boyfriend gave you for your birthday; that only picture of your family from a holiday that was inside the wallet will never be found. Some things are lost forever, and law and courts will never reverse that.
He may appear in the court today. I will look into his face, feel sadness at all the losses we have had, but a feeling of vengeance and satisfaction won’t be there, just a hollow, numb reality of all the pain that lies in so many of us.
So let us not give too much to the fact that he was caught, as though this will mean the former Yugoslavia is finally healed. There is so much work yet to be done – including institution building, easing of the rising nationalist tensions, reconciliation and economic recovery.
While the trial proceeds, the process of recuperation and absorption of the events of the last two decades – both on a personal and on a societal level – continues, and will certainly continue for generations to come.
What can be said about Mladic? His deeds speak for him. All that I and the citizens of Sarajevo and Bosnia who needlessly and unjustly suffered can do now is watch international law and justice being carried out.
He may survive or pass away, he may fight in the international court or stir nationalist sentiment on the ground in former Yugoslavia. But whatever happens, may he and people like him never feature in our lives again.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Our Jewish friend, former top US diplomat Madeleine Albright, has welcomed the arrest of Bosnian Serb ex-general Ratko Mladic, saying she "enjoyed" knowing he was now behind bars, a news report said Saturday.

"It may not have been possible, but I particularly enjoy it," Albright told the national daily De Volkskrant, speaking during a visit to The Hague.

On the run for 16 years, Mladic was arrested in Serbia last month and extradited to the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on May 31. He faced judges for the first time three days later.

"The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they do grind," said Albright, who served as US ambassador to the United Nations during the 1992-95 Balkans conflict, which claimed some 100,000 lives.

Albright, now 74, also played a major role as a former US secretary of state from 1997-2001 in shaping US foreign policy towards a post-war Bosnia-Hercegovina.

In 2002, she testified before the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in the case against former high-ranking Bosnian Serb politician, Biljana Plavsic, later sentenced to 11 years in prison for committing crimes against humanity in the war-torn country.

This week, Albright was again in the world justice capital, where she attended the opening of The Hague Institute for Global Justice, a legal training and research institute, the paper said.
Meanhile, some four kilometres (2.5 miles) away, Mladic, 69, is being held in a UN detention unit in a Dutch prison. He is expected to make a second appearance on July 4.

The man called "the Butcher of Bosnia" faces charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, the same charges levelled against Radovan Karadzic, his political alter ego, whose trial is in progress.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bosnian National basketball team canidates announced!

(Bosnian National Team vs Macedonia: Damir Krupalija faces off against Todor Gocevski and Vrbica Stefanov 2006)

Bosnia is facing an immense challenge to make a good showing in European Championships and the teams they will have to face. They were lucky to be included when FIBA announced an expansion of the teams getting into the tournament this summer after a dissapointing finish to qualifying last summer. Bosnia has the potential to be one of the ten best teams in Europe year in and year out, but they have to stop bleeding off top young talent to other national teams when they "learn" they are actually Slovenian, Spanish, Croatian, German, Serbian or a whole host of other nationalities. KSBiH also have to do a better job evaluating and promoting and supporting young talent. It is a shame that year in and year out players like Stanko Barac, Bojan Bogdanovic, Nedzad Sinanovic, Mirza Begic, Emir Preldzic, Alen Omic and so many other great talents leave Bosnia without any hesitation on the part of Bosnia to allow this to happen.
There were some glaring omissions from the Bosnian National team this summer, most surprisingly Damir Krupalija who has had two of his best seasons in Europe the last two years and was a big time contributor to the National team for years, yet hasn't received an invite the last two years.
Nedzad Sinanovic never showed much interest in the National Team and it seems has given up on representing BiH. He wanted guarantees a couple of years ago and never received them in terms of playing time, since then he has never taken his invitation seriously. For a player drafted by the NBA (Portland Trailblazers) and contributing to a Euro league team in a major way, the fact that Bosnia didn't recognize the talent in a athletic 7'3" center (the opposite of NBA lottery pick and Bosnian national Aleksandar Radojevic) from early on is a shame.
Ognjen Kuzmic is also a major omission by the BiH National team, Drasko Albijanic had a great year in Bosnians domestic league but has none of the potential for greatness (especially defensivly) that Kuzmic has shown. Center is a major weakness for the team, even though Bosnia produces great big men like Barac, Begic, Sinanovic, Omic, Kuzmic, Asim (Pascanovic) Pars, Mile Ilic, Damir (Omerhodzic) Markota and a whole host of Slovenes who are actually Bosnians.
I think inviting more top talent to the NT like Nedim Dedovic, Sandro Gacic, Armin Mazic and a whole host of talented young players. Bosnia needs to be more aggressive in recruiting and supporting these young talents before others do so.
Bosnia's National teams two weakest position are center and point guard Ironic because of the amount of talent lost to other countries from these positions. Those also happen to be the two most important positions in basketball today. It is a shame that they don't even naturalize a talent from the US for one of these positions, JR Bremer is a combo guard who is also a volume shooter, more so than a guy who will get you into your offense and get others on the team easy looks at the basket.
It would take a small miracle or a great series by Mirza Teletovic to have a good showing this summer..


Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81) Has regressed the last couple of years after going international from KK BOSNA ASA. He seems to be more interested in checks he is cashing than a good showing for the national team. A formerly selfless player who made plays in the clutch, seems to look for his own offense too much and going one on one these days.
 Mirza Teletovic (206-F-85) The best talent on the team (Sorry Nihad) he has exploded onto the Spanish scene the last couple of years and is now considered one of the best players in Europe. Needs to take a lead role with the National team and have a great showing this summer
Ratko Varda (216-C/F-79) Spent a year on the injured reserve in the NBA, a journeyman in Europe but has a great shooting touch, as far as big men on your bench you could do much worse, if he is starting for you, your not very good.
Edin Bavcic (210-F/C-84) A solid shooter, defender and rebounder a nice piece to your puzzle but not a center piece on a good team.
Elmedin Kikanovic (210-C-88) Suspended all year for failing doping test, hasn't progressed as expected after leaving Tuzla. for a 6'10" power guy, doesn't rebound well. A good athlete that doesn't shoot good enough to play on the perimeter.
Adnan Hodzic (203-F-88) A nice offensive talent, lacks lateral quickness and athleticism to be a good defender. Can help a team, in the mold of Dzenan Rahmic.
Ermin Jazvin (210-C-80) A solid player, good defender.
Henry Domercant (192-G-80) a combo guard who can score in bunches.
Goran Ikonic (196-G-80) A serious injury effected his season, bounced back in the playoffs but seems over matched on this level.
Nihad Djedovic (196-F-90) Disappointing the last couple of years, a serious young talent who after arriving in Italy seems more interested in the lifestyle than getting better. Seems to be wasting the immense talent he was given.
Nemanja Gordic (194-G-88) A solid guard who doesn't excel at any one area but is a good defender and decent shooter.
Sasa Vasiljevic (183-G-79) If you could combine Sasa's  leadership with Domercants offense you would have a great PG.
Aleksej Nesovic (189-G-85) A solid role player who shouldn't get more than 8 min a game of your in trouble.
Diego Kapelan (190-G-87) I have no idea who this is.
Ernest Bremer (195-G-80) a combo gaurd and a volume shooter, would make a great bench guard who could come in and fill it up for you, too inconsistant to start on a great team.
Mujo Tuljkovic (203-F-79) Surprised he was invited over Krupalija
Milan Milosevic (205-F-85) A decent shooter who does little else, I would have been happier if they invited the Kharimanovic brothers instead Abdurhaman and Armend.
Ante Masic (200-/F-85) Another decent role player but Bosnia needs more stars.
Bozo Durasovic (200-F-87) Does everything ok and nothing great, another role player who will struggle against high level of competition.
Miralem Halilovic (206-F-91) Really struggled against the better competition this year, he is considered a great talent in BiH but I just don't see it ever translating to high performance on a high level of competition. For a Forward he handles the ball very well. A poor mans Emir Preldzic, who is a poor mans Dejan Bodiroga
Feliks Kojadinovic (197-G-79) a great help the last few years, really starting to fail physically hard to imagine he can contribute that much anymore against great players.
Drasko Albijanic (211-C-86) Had a great year domestically, will struggle against a high level of competition as he is slow and weak physically.
Muhamed Pasalic (192-G-87) Had a very solid year for a terrible KK BOSNA ASA team. If he was that good of a player they should have never been that bad. Never trust a player that puts up great numbers for terrible teams.
Adin Vrabac (203-F-94)   A great young talent that should make the team, they need to start looking towards the future and it needs to begin with players like him.