The Bunjevac community's identity has been pilloried from generation to generation, including a 1945 instruction to treat them as Croatians. The so-called ‘Bunjevac question’ remains a source of considerable conjecture; a conjecture that is in the shrewd and determined hands of the Bunjevac National Minority Council in Serbia.
The humble sunlounger has become synonymous with the creeping development of the Croatian coastline, gradually occupying sites one enjoyed by local residents. In response, new civic initiatives are now emerging; advocating for the sustainability of Croatian tourism and striving to hold their government to account.
This extract from Ian Bancroft's new book, 'Dragon's Teeth - Tales from North Kosovo', explores Gazivode Lake in north Kosovo, which is described as a 'site of repressed memories'; concealing the past whilst providing challenges and opportunities for the future.
The village of Çabër/Čabra is nestled on the north bank of the Ibar, down a rather steep embankment from the main road between Mitrovica and Zubin Potok. Ninety five per cent of its pre-war population returned to a village that I’m told was rebuilt ‘better than before’. This extract from Ian Bancroft’s new book, ’Dragon’s Teeth - Tales from North Kosovo’, explores why many of its residents turned their noses up at the possibility of making a home elsewhere.
This extract from Ian Bancroft‘s new book, ‘Dragon‘s Teeth - Tales from North Kosovo‘, tells the story of Sokolica Monastery and the ‘miracle-making’ prowess of its sculpture of the Virgin Mary (‘Theotokos’) with Christ the Child, which dates back to the fourteenth century.
The Alhambra is a place of consequences, many of which still reverberate to this very day, both here and beyond; a place that one will constantly refer back to, or be referred back to, in the course of reflections upon contemporary Europe, north Africa and beyond.
Rather than being abandoned hastily, Tskaltubo's decline has been like a slow-moving cancer; demeaning, debilitating and endlessly painful. Its economic collapse has been compounded by the living compendium of tragic life stories and loss its residents embody; as if the collapsing stairwells and stench of damp weren't enough of a metaphor.
Hotel Ukraine's unique vantage point over Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti), where much of Ukraine’s political and social discontent has been expressed, makes it the ideal place to reflect upon the EuroMaiden protests mobilized in its shadow in November 2013.
As the world flirts with the prospect of another nuclear fallout - whether from rogue leaders or accidents like Fukushima - moving beyond purely academic understandings of the impacts of nuclear catastrophe is more imperative than ever. ‘Chernobyl Prayer’ by Nobel Prize winner, Svetlana Alexievich, goes some way to addressing the balance with its powerful monologues, but is no substitute for the immediacy offered by the site of the twentieth century’s worst civilian nuclear catastrophe.
The Great War, the centenary of whose conclusion will be widely observed this year, devastated most of Arras, which locals claim was the only town in France to be on the front-line for the wars entire duration. It has since been meticulously restored, and is now a place to remember those who sacrificed both in battles for - and to resurrect - Arras.
In ‘Čudna jadna – od mostara grada’, one of the most famous songs about the city, Biba endures a “strange pain from the city of Mostar”, having been “hurt by love”. And so it is that many leave Mostar with a similar pain; the pain of the destruction wrought on the Old Bridge. Mostar’s people are rarely discussed, the victims of the war being harder to grasp compared to the destruction of a bridge. And yet it is the youth of Mostar who grapple to contend with the legacies of a conflict that preceded their existence.
A once secret nuclear bunker in Konjic, Bosnia-Herzegovina - built to safeguard former Yugoslav president, Josip Broz Tito, and other members of the elite - is now home to an internationally acclaimed art collection that confronts various aspects of the Cold War.