“…the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters”

I came across the above bit of wisdom while re-reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on a train from Budapest to Bratislava during my post-Bosnia trip. While Sirius Black uses this argument to assuage Harry’s fears that Dolores Umbridge could be working for Lord Voldemort, I think ...

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Niti jedna žena nevidljiva

Decorations on the office walls at Fondacija CURE Last week at my internship I spent a solid 20 minutes scrolling through photos of sculptures of topless women on the internet. It’s not exactly what I had envisioned working on this summer, but it turns out that sometimes when you’re looking ...

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A bandaid or a barrier?

Following the news of President Paul Kagame’s re-election in Rwanda this week, I was reminded of an argument my friend made in support of Kagame’s ownership of Rwanda’s historical narrative and suppression of alternative perspectives. In response to my assertion that the inability of all sides to express themselves would ...

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On names, places and war history

The above photo was taken from the bus on the way back to Sarajevo from Split, Croatia this past weekend. The window could have been cleaner, but the clouds were nice. I took the photo because the town was mobbed, and I was hoping my phone would geotag it so ...

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The Politics of Memory

Walking through Srebrenica today, one would not realize that the town was ground zero for one of the worst massacres in modern European history, the continent’s only genocide since the Holocaust. The nearest public commemoration is 7 kilometers away in Potočari, where the official memorial to the victims of the ...

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Language and Life in an NGO

English language skills are a huge professional advantage in Bosnia. Especially in the world of NGOs, as they compete for limited funding, much of which comes from abroad. A well-written grant proposal has a much better chance of winning the award than a poorly written proposal for an overall better ...

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Mapping Divisions

I once read a hiking memoir about the Pacific Crest Trail that spoke of “trail angels,” people who give food, drinks, shelter, etc. to hikers. Bosnia’s Marš Mira has its own community of good samaritans along the trail. In addition to the foreign governments, NGOs and philanthropists who donate snacks, ...

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Home Decoration

My first impression of Sarajevo is that it is covered in graffiti. And I think that’s nice. So many other cities I’ve visited seem sanitized in an effort to appeal to the tourists upon whom the local economies rely; in contrast, Sarajevo is very obviously lived in by locals who ...

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