Posts tagged Bosnia
Posts tagged Bosnia
Women, War & Peace Episode 1: “I Came To Testify” airs tonight on PBS. This episode is a “moving story of how a group of 16 women who had been imprisoned by Serb-led forces in the Bosnian town of Foca broke history’s great silence – and stepped forward to take the witness stand in an international court of law” resulting in new international laws around sexual violence during war.
Click the link to see Matt Damon, narrator of “I Came To Testify” talk about why the themes of this series matter to men, too.
Melissa Bryan hits the music scene full force today with her debut solo album Return of the Woman, a spirited collection that celebrates the human ability to thrive despite, and sometimes because of, adversity.
Bryan’s songs are full of frustration, hope, and an outrageous joyfulness. Her lyrics, at times funny, endearing, and passionate, at times angry, remind the listener why she fell in love with rock n’ roll in the first place. Lyrics to songs such as the intentionally over-the-top “Rock n Roll Saved My Life Last Night” make us remember what it’s like to open ourselves up to great, and profoundly life-changing, music.
Rock and Roll saved my life last night/it’s been so long since I was inspired/now I woke up baptized with desire/Rock and roll saved my life last night
The songs speak of the disappointment of coming of age in a patriarchal society and a deep spiritual yearning that can be explored, and perhaps quenched, through music.
I’m so sad about Jesus/there was a time when he held my hand/I’m still looking for salvation/and a way to the promise land
Strummer’s singing on the radio/but it’s a Marley song/says he’s looking for what I am/and it sounds like it won’t be long
In the video to the album’s title track, a tough, beautiful Bryan sings defiantly and without self-pity of her struggles with the arthritis that settled into her joints when she was only fifteen years old.
My eyes were heavy and my hair full of grease/I was locked up from a disease/then I realized I held the key/and I stand here finally fucking set free
Bryan then turns into the 50 Foot Woman (from the 1958 American sci-fi film Attack of the 50 Foot Woman) and tromps through Austin, terrorizing local hipsters and visitors to the state’s capitol building, shuddering as millions of bats swarm her, and finally cutting the head off of the beloved Stevie Ray Vaughn statue. Bryan makes it clear that — like many of her fans — she’s had enough of paying homage to the “annoying old school Austin music scene.”
Return of the Woman’s album cover shows an open-mouthed Bryan standing, cigarette in hand, next to a pink scooter on a grim street in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s just this sense of unexpected beauty in the midst of struggle that permeates Return of the Woman; Bryan clearly relates to the Bosnian people and their ability to live life fully despite terrible suffering and difficulties. Her song “New (Brave) World” celebrates the people of Sarajevo’s ability to find joy even while living in the midst of a war zone.
“I am the muscle!” they scream with cannons and grenades/in the churches and cathedrals you still pray/men sing the call from the rubble of the minaret/refuse to let your former life become just a silhouette/time stands still when you’re living in the moment
Bryan’s personal life shows a commitment to the themes of feminism and empowerment for women and grrrls that she so deftly addresses in her music. A longtime activist in the movement to end violence against women, Bryan also band coaches and serves on the Board of Directors at Girls Rock Camp Austin, a day camp dedicated to supporting “girls and women of all backgrounds and abilities through musical education and performance.”
Anyone who came of age listening to great female artists from Blondie to Liz Phair to Best Coast — or anyone who wishes they had — will want to celebrate the release of Return of the Woman. Melissa Bryanlets us know without question that she’s both wild and mature enough for the spotlight of her solo debut. At times raucous, at times melodic and beautiful, her album exuberantly reminds us that life — however painful — must be enjoyed to the absolute fullest.
Bosnian Girl, by Šejla Kamerić.
The small print:
Graffiti written by an unknown Dutch soldier on a wall of the army barracks in Potocari, Srebrenica, 1994/95. Royal Netherlands Army troops, as part of the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992-95, were responsible for protecting the Srebrenica safe area.
Photography by Tarik Samarah
Sixteen years ago this week Bosnian Serb forces massacred 8,000 Muslim men and boys in UN safe haven of Srebrenica, the largest mass murder in Europe since World War II. Hundreds, if not thousands, of women and girls were systematically raped by Bosnian Serb forces before and during the Srebrenica genocide. The graffiti artist and his commanders were their “protectors.”
Photo taken at the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in July 2007. Originally a public project - on posters, billboards, magazine ads, and postcards in Sarajevo and Berlin.
Street art, Day 15.
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 2010.
Day 14, 30 days of public art series. Graffiti on an old military helicopter outside of the Bosnian National Museum.
War is only cool if you have a gun. Most of us don’t.
Siva je slika svijeta, zar ne?
Roughly translated from Bosnian: grey is the color of the world, isn’t it.
Artist: STF Crew
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2007, outside of Fis Kultura Club.
Does anyone know what kind of car this is? It looks like a VW Beetle, but I think it’s too squarish.
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Vedran Smailović, former cellist of the Sarajevo Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra.
When his beloved city was under siege in the Bosnian War, he would venture at night to climb on the towers of rubble that was once the square fountain, and to the sound of gunfire and bombs, he would play on his cello the melody of Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor; a performance alluding to the 1945 Bombing of Dresden, where the musical piece would have forever been lost had it not been for those presurving art in the face of war.
He did it for 22 days, each in the honor of one of the victims bombed waiting in line for bread in the streets of Sarajevo.