How do you change the image of a country that is almost exclusively referred to in the media as a place of war destruction, ethnic cleansing, hatred, and suffering? And how do you show that there is much more to the place than that?
For the last couple of months, a group of my Bosnian American friends and I have been working hard on a project tries to help change this negative image of Bosnia-Herzegovina (B-H). Our volunteer group, named B-Heart, is hurriedly preparing for an exhibition opening on May 14th.
The exhibit, titled “Bosnian Born,” consists of artworks – including sculptures, photographs, graphic and fashion designs – made by 27 Bosnian artists, of whom a majority work and live in the United States. The exhibit comes to DC after it was shown in California and most recently in Boston, Mass.
We decided to bring it here probably for the same reason that motivated Ms. Sejla Holland, the exhibit’s creator and the owner of the Green Cube Gallery in Laguna Beach, Calif. While artists represented in “Bosnian Born” admit that they have been greatly influenced by their war experiences, all of them emphasize the importance of survival, perseverance, tolerance. And all of them celebrate human spirit.
The exhibit shows that the artists, who are members of all Bosnian ethnic groups, refuse nationalistic divisions and recognize importance of the cross-cultural influences which shaped and enriched them. And that is exactly how we, the members of B-Heart, feel. For us, the effort of organizing this exhibit is an act of love for B-H, and represents our desire for B-H to overcome its war image and become a prosperous country.
Come and meet us – and Bosnian artworks – at the exhibit’s opening reception on May 14th, 6:30 pm, at the Bosnian Embassy! (2109 E Street NW, Washington DC 20037; please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. The artworks are for sale. If you would like to purchase some of them, please know that the proceeds will partially go to Bosana, a charity foundation that provides scholarships to Bosnian war orphans.