Further reading: Protests in BiH

I’m in the process of what will be a pretty long post about the protests in Mostar on Friday, February 7. But until that’s finished, here are some articles and sites that have stood out to me as I’ve scoured the internet during this time. Not exactly light reading, but definitely informative.

Bosnian protests: A Balkan Spring?: Solid overview of why the situation is how it is – economically, politically, etc. – explained pretty simplistically. Notable quote: “Indeed, the war years left such deep traumas that anger about the way politicians have prospered while standards of living have declined has been suppressed out of fear of a return to conflict.”

My Bosnian Spring: Written by an American that’s lived in BiH since the war. Notable quote: “There is no doubt that things have reached their boiling point. I’m surprised we managed to put ourselves on simmer for so long in the first place. The injustice that rules our lives and our country is, in the slightest of terms, despicable. But have we asked ourselves the right questions…if any at all? (….) I think these riots in the streets of Bosnia need to be a wake-up call directed at no other than us. WE need to be awoken. They are wide awake, robbing us blind whilst selling us the lies of division and fear. We are the sleeping ones in need of a wake up call.”

Is This the Beginning of a Bosnian Spring?: Analysis of the situation, with an emphasis on the Dayton Accords’ involvement in the situation being the way it is today. Notable quote: “‘The Dayton Accords gave Bosnia a very difficult-to-change constitutional structure,’ explained Serwer. That was done on purpose – to make sure that no single faction could gerrymander the state to its advantage. But today, Serwer continues, that structure is ‘at the heart of what’s wrong in Bosnia’. The state is built around ethnic divisions, which in turn paralyse the state.”

Anger in Bosnia, but this time the people can read their leaders’ ethnic lies: Opinion piece, philosophically discussing the conflict between liberals and fundamentalists. Notable quote: “In short, we are dealing with a rebellion against nationalist elites: the people of Bosnia have finally understood who their true enemy is: not other ethnic groups, but their own leaders who pretend to protect them from others. It is as if the old and much-abused Titoist motto of the “brotherhood and unity” of Yugoslav nations acquired new actuality.”

Why are the Balkans boiling again?: Opinion piece, arguing that the situation in BiH actually reflects dynamics that are felt across Europe; also mentions the police-demonstrator relationship. Notable quote: “And the same goes for the current protests in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Why are the protestors condemned for being violent, if state power is even more violent, serving as an “invisible hand” – during the last 20 years – to the market and war tycoons? Why is smashing some windows called “violence”, and stealing some millions “business”?”

Mostar’s Class Awakening: Short reflection on the situation, written by Rhea, my American co-year.

Bosnia By The Numbers: Bureaucracy Amid Bad Times: A quick statistical “look at the numbers behind Bosnia-Herzegovina’s labyrinthine bureaucracy and economic problems.”

Bosnia-Herzegovina Protest Files: News and documents about the protests, translated to English.


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