Paweł Starzec

2013 - Ongoing

Bosnia and Herzegovina

History is a settlement within the community, regarding how this community remember the events that took place in the past. The trend towards the construction and relying on the structured history in constructing order of the present time is an expression of its social significance. Group of people with the same belief about past events form a collective identity. The nation, as an ethnic group owning an organised state, among its constitutive features have sharing common cultural and historical grounds. The culture of the community is based on shared history, taking shape of the established order of facts. By common saying, that’s winners who write history.

Makeshift is a project on rewriting history in Bosnia and Hercegovina, relating to the mass atrocities of Bosnian War and their ereased context. In most cases, places used to commit atrocities are renovated to serve former purpose of buildings of public utility. History is a collectively set narration, so it has the ability of being rewritten from scratch, to omit things that had to be forgotten. In present Bosnia, most of people had been directly, or indirectly affected by Bosnian War of 1991-1997. The entire landscape bears contamination that part of newly written history wants to erase.

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  • Described in A bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric, stone bridge in Visegrad was used as a place of execution during ethnic cleansing of Drina Valley. River carried the bodies further downstream, and during maintenance work on nearby Perrurac dam more than 300 were found.

  • Trebevic Bob Staza, former bobsleigh and luge track on mt. Trebevic, from Sarajevo Winter Olympics 1984. During the Siege of Sarajevo it was used as a shelling position.

  • Alipasino Polje, Sarajevo. Detention camp was located in the basement.

  • One subject described the White House as the most infamous structure at the camp. He stated that the building was where the camp authorities held those they called extremists. According to the subject, the first room to the left was the punishment room, where hardly anyone came out alive.

    Reports stated that no one was killed with a gun at the White House, only by beatings and the like. According to reports, in the morning prisoners would see bodies piled up next to the white house. Subject estimated that guards killed five to 10 men per night, and up to 30 prisoners on some nights. He added that guards sang as they beat prisoners to death and sometimes sang nationalistic and religious songs.

  • Safety in Srebrenica Safe Zone was ensured by UNPROFOR Dutchbat batallion, stationing in a former battery factory. In 1995 Serbs invaded the enclave. Dutchbat capitulated without intervention and left the base. In next few days, about 8373 men were killed on execution sites in nearby villages.

  • School in Trnopolje. Part of former makeshift detention camp, which was shown in worldwide news reports on human rights violation during media coverage of Bosnian War.

  • Former olympic structures bordering Sarajevo, used as military positions and execution ground. This is a probable last view of an executed person.

  • Miljevina, a small village adjacent to Foča, was location of at least two makeshift rape camps during Bosnian War. One of them was located in a former house of Nusret Karaman, who fled ethnic cleansing. The women kept in this house were raped repeatedly. Among the women held in Karaman’s house there were minors as young as 15 years of age.

  • Souvenir from Visegrad, sold by a street vendor 300 meters from a location where multiple civilians were executed by having their throaths slit.

  • A camp was located in the Bosanski Samac School. The gymnasium held between 300 and 500 detainees ranging in age from 18 to 85 years old. The Osnovna Skola (Primary School) Building held approximately 80 detainees that were Muslim and Croatians ranging in age from 18 to 65 years old.

  • 2nd floor, Vilina Vlas Hotel, Visegrad.

  • Mladost. Propable location of makeshift detention camp.

  • Playground, Hasan Veletovac Primary School, used as a camp during ethinc

  • Vilina Vlas was one of the main detention facilities in Visegrad. It was located in a hotel/spa about seven kilometres south-east of Visegrad proper, on the way to Gorazde. This camp was established with the coming of the Uzice Corps in the end of April. It held women for the purposes of rape, serving as a camp brothel. Of them, five committed suicide by jumping form a balcony at the hotel, six others escaped and the rest were killed after multiple rapes.

    Apparently, women detained here were picked up by police officers, members of the White Eagles and Arkan’s and Seselj’s men. Many of them were not yet 14 years old. According to this witness, the women detained at the hotel had su cient food and drink because they were the selected women meant to later give birth to Cetnik babies.

  • A house on Pionirska Street, Visegrad. Place of mass execution. More than 50 people were burned alive.

  • Nova Kasaba, footbal field. Place of execution of about 1500 men during Srebrenica Genocide. Bodies were burried on a nearby field, and reburried into secondary graves in other locations.

  • A storage room for skeletal remanants and clothing. This facility is dedicated to identification of all men killed during Srebrenica Genocide only. More than 6900 had been identified.

  • The Bridge on Drina, Visegrad, former execution ground. Water jumping contest.