SARAJEVO RED LINE The siege atmosphere

Clouds above Sarajevo, everything is grey. And it's quiet. All up to Titova street. Some sound reverberates off the sidewalk, air, reflects it off the walls of buildings

Sarajevo today. People are walking more than usual, trams are running only to the railway station. The atmosphere before Titova street is reminiscent of something. Something hard, harsh and unusual. Clouds above Sarajevo, everything is grey. And it's quiet.

All up to Titova street. Some sound reverberates off the sidewalk, air, reflects it off the walls of buildings. In one moment man is faced with reality. The chairs, thousands of chairs are lined up along the street. Everything that is much different on paper and in some video simulation. Everything is completely, radically different when you see those same chairs. One behind the other, one next to the other, the river of chairs. The river of our citizens who are not here anymore, who are gone forever only because they lived here.

Tremor in the stomach

This sound, which still forms the air in Titova street, there are some people who are saying something, and some murmur. The question “what” still stands. And next to Sarajevo's Children Square, a new sight for a tremor in the stomach and tightness in the chest. Little chairs, children's chairs. Between those big ones, neatly lined up, they are telling its story as well. The story that is harder than any other. Those little lives that also left Sarajevo forever and only because they were born in this city too.
People are walking, stopping, watching, photographing. They bring inexplicable expression on their faces that tell more than any word. They are all quiet and different than usual. The atmosphere is inexplicable, completely specific. On screens, on every crossroad the names of those who are not with us anymore are lining up, one by one, without stopping. It seems that the list never ends. A weight in the chests is rising.
People abstained, from respect, approaching the chairs. They're leaving flowers. No one says a word. Tears.

People have faces

That sound is still here. Its arrival to the stage reveals everything. The stage is sounded and the rehearsal lasts. The openness of the whole manifestation looks unreal. Citizens can approach wherever they want. Haris Pasovic is talking with citizens, explains something. He's coming and saying: “You know that when you are walking throughout the city and everyone is in a hurry and all of them have some impersonality. Today it stopped, people have faces.”
The atmosphere is still reminiscent of something, everything is quiet, but from respect.
“It reminds us of the siege atmosphere”, Pasovic gives resolution. Yes, it makes sense. People are walking by sidewalk, in opposite directions, they're riding bicycles, all this painfully reminds us of the siege. But, finally, I understand. All is reminiscent of the moments when someone is gone forever. Like the last farewell.

Written by Nisad Selimovic

 

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