I am a tradition deeply rooted in the life of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina
SUBHA ALIC |
Arts, Activism and Social Justice Summer School
| Urban Word Collective
| Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Considering that I am a big fan of the cultural and historical tradition of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is rooted in the daily life of the people of different religions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Muslims, Catholics, Orthodox, and Jews), I chose the classic design of the Bosnian rug for my picture. Beautiful woven Bosnian carpets that trace their origins back to the Ottoman period have floral and geometric motifs that are sublime in their simplicity. Once upon a time, every wealthier house in Bosnia and Herzegovina had one such handmade masterpiece. Today, these carpets are an antique and a true rarity in the households of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I remember my grandmother who, in the middle of the last century, wove such rugs by hand on her loom in a small village in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where my family is from. I always admired the intense colors and beautiful patterns of these rugs that she created with her skillful hands. These carpets are part of the common cultural-historical and artistic heritage of people of all religions who lived and still live in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This tradition is part of my personal identity, but also the collective identity of my people.
In October 2023, an exhibition was held on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dobrivoj Beljkašić, an artist from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who fled to Bristol in the early 1990s due to the war raging in Sarajevo and the rest of the country. The exhibition was realized in the art museum Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where I often hang out with my peers at additional activities for us senior citizens. The museum educator who works with the museum audience organized an additional activity for us where we were guided through the exhibition "Painter of Restless Imagination, Dobrivoje Beljkašić, 1923-2023" with active participation in the discussion about the works. Through works in which the artist depicted the Sarajevo bridges, and the sacred architecture of this multi-ethnic city with a multi-layered cultural history, we talked about our upbringing in pre-war Sarajevo. For the creative task, we were given by the educator to illustrate the areas of the city, buildings, or people that symbolize our growing up in this city and the way in which the city, its environment, and people shaped our identity.