Reflecting on Tuzla and Srebrenica

Reflecting back on the last few days I have so many thoughts it is hard to begin to organize them..

I think one of the most memorable parts of the time we spent in Tuzla and Srebrenica were the people we met, and the connections and relationships that were formed. The first being the relationship between Anne, Hassan and Saliha. Their friendship is remarkable, and really illuminates the ability to connect, and become interwoven with others we cross paths with. Another connection that became apparent was the attachment of Hassan, Saliha and all the Bosnians to their homes, their land, and their faith.

After thinking about all the connections I witnessed the last few days I am also left thinking about some of the disconnect I have also felt. I think that the largest detachment I noticed was at the ICMP. Listening to the anthropologist describe the work that they do there was a bit unsettling. I know that the work is critical, and must be done but I had a difficult time coming to a place of disengagement. I found myself focussing on each of the people whose remains were being stored and processed for identification, the life they lived, the people they knew and the soul they had. As such it felt very unfitting to be walking through the storage room, encroaching on their space and taking their pictures. Reflecting back I think I came to the realization that my personal place was to bear witness, and share what I had seen, but not to take more than my memories.

My final thoughts regarding our time is Srebrenica shift to the broader community, the need for story telling and what my role will be in this work moving forward…


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