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Genocide Film Library

The Genocide Film Library will provide an essential contribution to currently available oral history material focused on Bosnia-Herzegovina and the events of the 1992-1995 conflict. Once completed, it will be a valuable resource for scholars, educators and students, curators and researchers, NGO activists and filmmakers. The Library is not only a resource for the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but instead a project that will be global in impact.

 

The Cinema for Peace Foundation began operating in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2011, when it established an office tasked with the creation of the Genocide Film Library. Following the example of the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation Institute, which was founded by Steven Spielberg, the Genocide Film Library will bring together audiovisual testimonies of 10,000 survivors of the Srebrenica genocide in a freely accessible online library.

 

World Premiere
of the documentary film and testimony

THE VOICES OF
SREBRENICA


July 9, 8 pm
Konjevic Polje
Bosnia and Herzegovina


Srebrenica was an UN Safe Area in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Despite it`s designation as an area “free from any armed attack or any other hostile act,” it was overrun and captured by the forces of the Army of Republika Srpska on July 11th, 1995. In the days following the fall of Srebrenica, over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were systematically massacred in the greatest atrocity to occur on the European continent since WWII.

“I  watched a woman, I didn't know her, she gave birth, and the baby was crying... . And they told her to shut the baby up. I mean it's a baby. The mother answered, I think it was the mother: 'How can you hush a baby that was just born?' He said to her:'Give it to me. We'll do it.' They took the baby away and gave her back a plastic bag. They brought her the baby's head inside the bag, to that woman… . I witnessed this.” Munira Ademović

With the support of Angelina Jolie and the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Relations the Genocide Film Library collected over  a period of three years  over 1300 interviews with survivors and eye-witnesses of the massacre in Srebrenica in summer 1995. The interviews are the biggest oral history collection in Bosnia and accessible in an online library and form the basis for the documentary "Voices of Srebrenica".

"The Serbs came on board, demanding gold and money. If someone did not have money, they would rape them or cut off their breast. I kept my children close to me." Naza Bajramović

"The Voices of Srebrenica" paints an impressive picture of the ineffable violence and inhumanity that happened during the genocide in Srebrenica. It illustrates and reconstructs the course of the events by using in depth interviews of survivors and original footage that was taken in 1995.

“It was difficult surviving and walking over the dead bodies, leaving the dead behind. It wasn`t two bodies, or twenty but two thousand. What else could I have done? I had to.” Mevludin Orić

Hasan Nuhanović co-founded the Genocide Film Library. He worked as a U.N. interpreter in Srebrenica in July 1995 when the Dutch commander sent his parents and his brother to death, along with over 8000 others. Hasan Nuhanović took legal action against the Dutch Goverment. In 2013 the Supreme Court of the Netherlands found the Netherland Goverment guitly. It was the first time an individual government has been held to account for the conduct of its peacekeeping troops operating under a UN mandate.

"Voices of Srebrenica" was produced by the Cinema for Peace Foundation. Through movies and documentaries Cinema for Peace aims to influence  the perception and resolution of the global social, political and humanitarian challenges of our time. In recent years Cinema for Peace has supported a number of important causes with the help of artists such as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and personalities such as The Dalai Lama, Muhammad Ali, Bill and Hillary Clinton, President Mikhail Gorbachev and our former Honorary Patron Nelson Mandela.

"What broke my heart was that people did know. They did see the pictures, they did watch the news, they did read the reports.The international community did know, and it did not do enough, it did not do all it could, it did not stop the violence.” Angelina Jolie





BOSNIA3.pngŠuhra Ahmetović

Šuhra Ahmetović was born in Šušnjari, and lived with her family in Srebrenica. At the beginning of the war, she lost her husband. Her son later perished as well. To this day, she does not know what happened to either of them.
Šuhra continues to search for their remains and hopes that she will one day be able to bury the remains of her husband and son.
She has an adult daughter who now lives in France, and is still traumatized by the war. Šuhra attempted to help displaced individuals during the war, at times sheltering as many as 25 individuals.

To view the video please watch here...

PROJECT DEVELOPMENTS

Cinema for Peace Looks Forward to a Summer of Outreach Events

Beginning on July 6th, 2012, testimonies from the Genocide Film Library will be made available at Bosnia-Herzegovina’s recently opened Genocide Museum in Sarajevo. The Cinema for Peace Foundation welcomes this opportunity and looks forward to cooperating with the Genocide Museum, and its founder, Mr. Tarik Samarrah, on future outreach events.


On July 10th, the Cinema for Peace Foundation, in cooperation with the Centre for the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial, will hold two events. The first event, to be held at the Cultural Centre in Srebrenica, will include an address by the Foundation’s consultant, Mr. Hasan Nuhanovic, and the screening of several testimonies. Following the event at the Cultural Centre, testimonies will be continuously screened for several hours at the Centre for the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial. In this way, the Cinema for Peace Foundation will serve as a direct participant in the events commemorating the genocide in Srebrenica, 17 years on.


The Cinema for Peace Foundation will also serve as an official partner of the Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) this year. During this year’s festival, the Foundation will coordinate two events:

  • On July 11th, an interactive dome will be set up on the Children of Sarajevo Square where visitors will be able to view a number of testimonies (in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and English) and film their reactions to the Genocide Film Library project. After the 11th, the dome will be moved to the Roman Petrovic Gallery, where visitors may continue to view testimonies and provide filmed statements until the SFF’s conclusion on July 14th.
  • On July 14th, the Cinema for Peace Foundation will co-host the VIP dinner for SFF winners and honoured guests. All VIP dinner attendees will receive detailed information about the Genocide Film Library and a DVD with one translated testimony.

PROJECT BACKGROUND

The Genocide Film Library directly contributes to the Cinema for Peace Foundation’s mission to raise awareness about global social inequalities and injustices through the medium of film.

Each oral history project is unique and the Genocide Film Library will provide an essential contribution to currently available oral history material focused on Bosnia-Herzegovina and the events of the 1992-1995 conflict.  The Cinema for Peace Foundation’s Interviewer, Ms. Naida Balić explains:

"Our plan is to film 10,000 life stories using oral history methods. Although oral history is underdeveloped in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it will provide us with the opportunity to record the experiences of Srebrenica survivors between 1992 and 1995. We’re historically documenting their memories and emotions, which are incredibly significant.”

The Library is not only a resource for the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but instead a project that will be global in impact. Ms. Balić adds:

"The Genocide Film Library will serve as a historical resource for future generations. Survivors are aware of this importance of recording their stories using oral history techniques. Most believe that the world should know what happened - and we believe that no one can more precisely and accurately describe the events surrounding the genocide than those who were present in Srebrenica between 1992 and 1995.”


The Genocide Film Library’s servers will eventually be made available to respected historical institutions such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Furthermore, the Cinema for Peace Foundation is working in cooperation with the Center for the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial to construct a permanent structure on the Center’s premises where visitors from around the world will be able to view the testimonies. Prior to the project's conclusion, a feature-length documentary film about Srebrenica, with a focus on the events of the genocide, will be produced. Voices of Srebrenica, an umbrella organization comprised of the four primary family associations representing genocide survivors and victims, is an implementing partner in the Genocide Film Library project.

The Cinema for Peace Foundation invites all interested individuals to contact our Sarajevo office and schedule an interview during which their testimony will be recorded. The organization also happily accepts volunteers and interns who are interested in contributing their time and skills to this important project.  Contact details are available online at
cinemaforpeace.ba.

Change Through Film

Bosnia Film Selection

BOSNIA

A selection of films that highlight the issues and help to inspire us about the people and events of the Bosnian Genocide. Watch here...

Inauguration of Bosnian Film Project

Inauguration

Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Center

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