A short introduction to [A MOSTAR RADIOGRAPHY]

Fasizam free zona

It’s a long time I wanted to start a blog about Mostar. A really long time.

I didn’t have enough confidence to write to be read by a wider audience than myself. Fortunately enough, some people have encouraged me in this direction.

First, of course, Mr Yougosonic who has been kind enough to publish eight texts I wrote about Mostar a couple of years ago on his blog Yougosonic. Yougosonic has been a long time source of information about many aspects of Yougoslavian culture that I had never heard of before or only superficially. If it hadn’t been for Yougosonic, I am sure I would have never ever thought about having my own blog. I would have never dared writing about Mostar which intimidates me so much.

When I published my texts on his blog, it was the first time I authorized myself to tell anything about Mostar that wasn’t purely informative. It wasn’t an article about whatever aspect that people usually like to talk about when Mostar is in question. It was a personnal statement developped in 8 texts about my private relation with the city.

A city that has never ceased to surprise me, disappoint me and attract me. I always say that Mostar is the place where I can feel the best and the worst.

In the end, I just wrote what I wanted to read.

I must admit here a huge deception about what is generally written about Mostar. Not that I have the pretention to do better than anybody else, far from that but really…How many more articles can be written about Mostar that are just spreading caricatures we all read about millions of times ?

From the ruins to the snipers nests, from Stari Most as a symbol of reconciliation to the usual crap about division, from the fascination for war to the lecture of the city through its remaining conflict traces… how many times can clichés be mutiplied ?

More recently, an article was published comparing the city to a garbage dump with a description of Mostar as invaded with rats. Really ?

Not saying that there are no problems with the collection of garbages in the city. It is a real issue but well, reading some descriptions from this text made me wonder who the author had been talking to and if she had witnessed any part of her descriptions but most of all, are we talking about the same city and ultimately, what was the real goal of this article ?

Mostar is not a garbage dump and I come to ask myself, what does it flatters in some authors that they seem to particularly enjoy ignoring anything positive in Mostar. Anything that goes against the general assumption that Mostar is lost for this world seems erased from the story.

It feels like Mostar has become a journalistic convenience, easy to describe (East-West), easy to name (Grad Slucaj), easy to depict (Old city). I don’t recall I ever read anything consistant about the Austro-Hungarian heritage of the city, or a walk in Centar 2 or an exploration of Balinovac, or Donja Mahala or Brankovac or…anything that is not the Old Town actually.

This article about « the-city-turned-into-a-garbage-dump » was the final trigger to what is now shaping as [A MOSTAR RADIOGRAPHY].

Tired of ranting alone in front of my computer, I thought it was about time I would finally do something concrete to express my own vision of the city along with other persons who would have an interest into widening the general view of Mostar, make it more detailed, subtle. Maybe, realistic could be the proper word.

[A MOSTAR RADIOGRAPHY] is more of a promenade in the space and different times in Mostar and I hope to pick up collaborators along the way who would like to talk about unexplored aspects of the city. It is still striking to me that what is invisible seems to be considered as non existing.
I never saw a rat in Mostar which doesn’t mean there are none. People never see resistance to the current state of Mostar which doesn’t mean there are none either.

The lack of curiosity towards this city has frozen it into a division icon and nothing else. I regret it profoundly. It makes me mad so, here is my tool, my little contribution to Mostar. Anyone who wants to write on this blog is welcome. I would be interested to share this space with others.
Someone told me she thought she didn’t know Mostar well enough to write about it. I think it’s wrong. I think Mostar always leaves you with a strong impression be it positive, negative, intriguing, it’s not important. This blog is not intended to provide analysis, datas and statistics, I leave that to the specialists. This blog is only intended to broaden the perception of the city I love.

There is no strategy behind [A MOSTAR RADIOGRAPHY]. I don’t know yet how many times a week/month I’ll be posting online. I’m currently setting up some collaborations that will develop along the way. I’m in no hurry, I just want to create something that has a sense, addressed to people who are interested, made by people who are interested.

Come along !