bosnia, 2008
They used to call Sarajevo ‘Europe’s Jerusalem’ because of its ethnic and religious composition and its history of multi-ethnic co-existence. However, the gap created by the collapse of the Soviet Union, Western geopolitical interests, the inciting of nationalist passions fundamentally altered both the capital and the other big cities of Bosnia. This ex-republic of federal Yugoslavia has today 4,5 millions of inhabitants. Bosnian Muslims are the larger ethnic group, representing 45% of total Bosnian population, the Serbs represent 35% and Croats 15%. Years after the end of armed conflict the only common element linking the three ethnic groups is misery in a country where despite its agricultural potential and its rich minerals, 1 out of 4 citizens lives below the threshold of poverty, with all hope – or illusion, as some claim – for growth linked to a future entrance into the EU. It is a country that still tries to count its war deaths, where there are still landmines scattered and bullet holes in buildings act as reminders of a history that has always repeated itself as tragedy.