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id sigradi2006_e068d
authors Catovic-Hughes, Selma
year 2006
title Digital Storytelling: "Memory….. Sarajevo, my personal story"
source SIGraDi 2006 - [Proceedings of the 10th Iberoamerican Congress of Digital Graphics] Santiago de Chile - Chile 21-23 November 2006, pp. 337-340
summary “It was a fresh summer night, sky deprived of stars, and hardly any signs of life. After hours of waiting, well passed midnight, they finally allowed us to enter. I couldn’t see or hear much, except movements of those in front of me, but judging by intense scent of mildew and worm-like smell of earth, I realized my mile long underground adventure had begun. There was no looking back, only the brave steps ahead into my new, and hopefully, safe and fruitful future.” [ from diary95 ] Just like many teens around the world, I too kept a journal. It began with playful thoughts of a teenage girl, living in Sarajevo, enjoying life. On my fifteenth birthday, those carefree moments were soon replaced with brutal facts of life under siege: Sarajevo and its citizens had been surrounded by the Serbs who took over all the roads leading in and out of the city. Three years later, I was weeks away from graduating high school, and instead of getting excited, I wondered about my future…”Yesterday was awesome -- we had both electricity and water for eight straight hours…hooray!! You could see the lights miles away…the entire city was awake, making pies and bread, washing clothes, watching movies.” [ from diary93 ] Was I going to spend the rest of my life anticipating the restricted electric and water timetable? Would I wake up the next day to see all my family alive? Would I ever have a chance to fulfill my dreams? This project captures the process of [re]tracing steps of my personal journey of leaving Sarajevo to come to the United States and [re]constructing memories as a sequence of spatial events using the artifacts and the text from my war journals. The intent of my project is to define that line between the old and the new, and intertwine and merge its current condition with the facts and memories from the past. Although there was never a permanent “Berlin-wall-like” divider, the natural contours of the river and invisible screens of the snipers served as impermeable walls and divided the city for four years. The implied boundary seemed to be more powerful than the massiveness of the concrete barricades. Is it possible to re-condition something [building, space, soul] to be and feel the same when it had been destroyed and deeply scarred on the inside? Instead of placing banal memorials engraved with the bare facts, how can we make a tribute to a series of events—a time period that changed the fabric of the city—in a more three-dimensional experience? How can we integrate digital phenomenon in the process of the post-war reconstruction to re-trace the past while creating necessary advanced improvements for the new contemporary society? The impact that social conditions have on architecture, art, culture, and ultimately, people can be told in a universal language – digital storytelling, containing pieces of history and personal memories to create representations of time and space of the past, present or future.
keywords memory; postwar; retrace; reconstruction; memorial
series SIGRADI
email selma977@yahoo.com
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