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Art in Ruins

Street art speaks to locals in Mostar.

by Bruno Stojcic and Asja Celebic 10 March 2017

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Continuing our series this week on street art, we now feature murals and graffiti from the city of Mostar, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The site of intense fighting during the Bosnian War, the city is perhaps best known for one of the country’s most stunning landmarks, the Stari Most (Old Bridge), which was destroyed during the conflict and then later rebuilt. Below are images of a different Mostar and reactions from local citizens.

 

 

I live near the old bank, so I’m kind of used to seeing graffiti all the time. Anyway, I really like it and I also support these young people that want to express their emotions and thoughts through this type of art. There are a lot of people inspired by their talent and I am definitely one of them.
- Andrea, 44
Street arts is a very important aspect of our city. I would love to see more and more murals because they can make ruins and the whole city alive. We should all pay more attention on the art around us and invest more in our street art culture.
- Omar, 31
In any case I would like to see more murals in Mostar, but the ones that are artistic and not acts of vandalism. I can’t say which one I like to most but I remember that I have seen many humorous ones.
- Ivica, 66
I mostly notice graffiti. I would like to see more of them in Mostar, but the artistic ones and not those provoking and rude ones that vandalize our city. Also, street arts in Mostar should be supported by various organizations. My favourite mural is on the top of the old bank that has been made by my friend recently.
- Husein, 23
I think that graffiti is really interesting and the city needs this kind of refreshment. The street art also attracts tourists and shows them that youth can have some really good ideas.
- Karla, 14
I really like murals and graffiti in Mostar. I think that they make city prettier and brighter. One of my favourite ones is the one next to gymnasia, the one with Japanese or Chinese letters.
- Ivona, 19
I really like artistic murals around the city. My favourite one is the space/alien blue girl on the bottom of the old bank.
- Ajla, 19
Murals are making our city more beautiful, and they deliver this positive and special message in youth community. That is something that we truly need. They transform ruins in beauty and art in a very special way. My favourite graffiti is a ying- yang tree on the Old Bank because it has very deep and important meaning for me.
- Marija, 18

 

Bruno Stojcic and Asja Celebic collected these images as part of a multimedia storytelling course in the Mostar Summer Youth Programme (MSYP), during which young people collaborated in diverse forms of media to share the narratives of their communities. Students produced multimedia stories using mediums such as documentary photography, film, narrative text, and audio recordings. MSYP students explored stories ranging from street art in Mostar to documenting memories of the war. This course was taught by Asha Siad, a Somali-Canadian multimedia journalist and documentary filmmaker, who kindly granted permission to reprint these images. 

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The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.

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