The thinking heart

Publish date 28-09-2023

by chiara

This city has produced more history than it can digest.” This is what they say about Sarajevo, a beautiful and tormented city. The twentieth century opened on its streets, with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand which started the First World War. And in the same place, the century also ended, with the fratricidal war of 1992. Sarajevo remained under siege for three years, with snipers and attackers positioned in the mountains, around the entire city, ready to attack ordinary citizens.

The wounds of that war have not yet healed. Yet, in this city there are those who decide to stay. Men and women who care so much about this land that they choose it every day.

Like Sabina, owner of a restaurant in the historic center. She mainly serves nettle-based dishes: «My grandmother always cooked them» she explains, with her smile that infects everything. She then becomes serious: «I worked in New York and Libya, but in the end I decided to return here. There are many difficulties, every day I ask myself if I have made the best choice for me and my four-year-old son. I don't have an answer yet."

Then there is Alma, an activist for the defense of citizens' public goods, who fights for the defense of water. «Here is the only sector from which you can still make money. Many hydroelectric plants are being built in the name of green energy, but environmental standards are not respected and ecosystems are destroyed", she explains. In her activities, she always involves people of different ethnic groups: «Focusing on common problems and thinking about the future is the only way to overcome the divisions of the past. Working together breaks even the heaviest silences, which may have lasted for years." And finally Ziyah, a photographer who tirelessly talks about her land, with its easiest and most difficult things. Men and women who are the beating heart of a city that still tries not to give up.

Chiara Vitali

NP Giugno Luglio 2023

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