The Three Houses

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I took this photo in Srebrenica from the patio where I stayed. I remember thinking when I saw the photo opportunity that this photo will be perfect to show to people back home when they ask about what the city was like. Throughout this trip I have noticed three phases of the buildings. There are the brand new ones, clean and well put together. There is nice architecture and nice roofs. Next are the “in-between” buildings. These buildings have bullet holes, maybe a couple spots where a shell exploded. There may be missing windows, or even a missing floor. The last type of building is the one completely demolished by the war. All windows are missing. There may be a part of the building that burned up. All that may be left is the shell of what used to be someone’s home.

I have seen this throughout Bosnia in both the city and out in the more rural areas. I feel this is a good way to describe Sarajevo in a way. The city has tried to move on, but there is still a remanence of the war and the damage. I feel the people are the same. Every person I have had the pleasure to spend time with has talked about this idea that life goes on. What happened cannot be erased and will always be remembered. Some were more impacted than others just like with the buildings, but regardless, they still stand. This trip has shown me such resilience in a way I never could have imagined. Going into a country that was the site of the second greatest atrocity since WWII, you expect to see something broken. Nothing is really broken here though.

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One thought on “The Three Houses

  1. I spent 10 months working in Sarajevo, and your comparison of the degrees of damage to people, to the degrees of damage to the buildings is perfect!

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