Thursday, July 10, 2008

Srebrenica Memorial Quilt at the Bosnian Embassy

I was able to attend a function at the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Washington, DC this evening. There was a photographic exhibition entitled "Srebrenica: Remembering for the Future" as well as a display of the Srebrenica Memorial Quilt.

I completely forgot to bring my camcorder, and I was twenty minutes late as well so I missed the introductions and much of the public speaking, but the photographs were moving and it was good to see the memorial quilt in person. Unfortunately, I noticed is that the quilt is not as big as I think it should be to make a strong impression. I will be making another donation this week; I would encourage those of you who haven't already donated to consider doing so--this worthy project cannot be alllowed to languish.

Tomorrow is the 13th anniversary of the massacre at Srebrenica. Please set aside a quiet moment during the day to honor the victims.

8 comments:

Daniel said...

Thank you so much for attending Kirk. Thank you one more time.

Shaina said...

Thanks for the overview of the event; I'm sorry that you missed most of the public speaking, how was the event otherwise?

I hope that the quilt will be displayed at college campuses as well, not only have campuses been at the forefront of advocating with regards to Darfur; but I think that Bosnia in general is not as well known to most people as it should be.

Daniel said...

Genocide is horrible, but unfortunately it will keep occuring in different parts of the world. It will never stop. We will always have good and bad people. Bad people will continue to encourage and deny genocides at the same time. People who deny Srebrenica genocide are worse than those who committed it. What happened in Srebrenica is horrible, and lack of comments on this post is just another confirmation that people simply don't care. Western media hasn't paid much attention to Srebrenica. Those who paid, barrely mention it was genocide. The amount of pain is just horrible. My heart goes to those people. It's trully unbearable amount of pain that these people feel every July 11th. It's horrible. But, again, the world does not care. Western media is more obsessed about celebrity entertainment stories. At least they make money to Reuters, AP, and AFP advertisers. This world is sick, sick, sick, sick, sick...

Owen said...

Hello Kirk - I've taken the liberty of copying the FAQ about the quilt from the Bosfam site:

http://bosfam.ba/faq/

WHAT IS THE MEMORIAL QUILT?

A

The quilt currently comprises 20 panels, each commemorating
a victim of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. Families who lost
relatives are being invited to commission new panels. As new
panels are added to the quilt, the quilt will grow in size,
keep the memory of the massacre alive and used to make the
case for more material and emotional support for Srebrenica
survivors.

Q

WHAT IS THE GOAL OF THE PROJECT?

To add 40 new panels by the end of 2007; exhibit the quilt
in at least three diaspora communities in 2008; and present
the quilt to US lawmakers in Washington by the spring of
2008 together with specific demands.

Q

WHO LAUNCHED THIS INITIATIVE?

The quilt project was conceived by the Bosnian Family
(Bosfam), a women’s organization based in Tuzla and
Srebrenica, which represents women from Eastern Bosnia who
were displaced by the conflict. Many of Bosfam’s members
lost relatives in the massacre. Bosfam is being supported in
the United States by the Association of Srebrenica Survivors
, the Bosnian Media Group (www.bosnianmediagroup.com) and
the Advocacy Project, in Washington DC. (www.advocacynet.org)

Q

WHO MAKES THE PANELS?

The current panels for the quilt were woven by members of
Bosfam, who lost relatives in the massacre. Bosfam weavers
will willingly weave new panels for other families. They see
this weaving project as a way to stay in touch with other
survivors. For a profile of the weavers (English) visit
http://www.advocacynet.org/page/weavers

Q

WHO DOES THE QUILT COMMEMORATE?

The quilt is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the
Srebrenica genocide, which occurred in July 1995. For a map
of the names visit http://www.advocacynet.org/page/map

Q

HOW DO I COMMISSION A NEW PANEL?

Please email Munira ‘Beba’ Hadžić - bosfam@bih.net.ba – with
a) the full name, b) birth date and c) occupation of the
person commemorated, and any other information you would
like included in the panel. In Bosnia, telephone Bosfam at
387 352 57534 or (mobile) 387 617 32027. In the US phone 202
332 3900. You will be contacted with a proposed design. Once
agreed, your panel will be woven and added to the quilt by a
professional weaver.

Q

HOW MUCH DO PANELS COST AND HOW IS THE MONEY USED?

Each panel costs $40. This covers the cost of materials and
labor by the weavers, who have no other source of income.
This project does not seek to generate any profit.

Q

HOW WILL THE MONEY BE TRANSFERRED?

To save transfer and currency costs, we suggest you make a
check out to “The Advocacy Project – Bosfam” and send it to
the Advocacy Project at 1326 14th street, NW, Washington DC
20005. All funds will then be transferred to Bosfam, and the
weavers. (AP takes NO commission). For an extra $40, you can
commission your own panel. For further information,
telephone Bosfam or the Advocacy Project.

Q

HOW CAN WE BE SURE THAT THE SAME NAMES WILL NOT APPEAR TWICE?


Bosfam will keep an electronic database of all persons
commemorated and contributors.

Q

CAN I COMMISSION A NEW PANEL EVEN IF I WAS NOT PERSONALLY
AFFECTED BY THE MASSACRE?

Yes. Your contribution will be gratefully accepted and will
make it possible for a family to participate in this
important project. You will be acknowledged as a donor on
the Bosfam website and in the project literature.

Picture at:

http://bosfam.ba/slike/main.php/v/Quilt/

ASluiter said...

Many thanks to everyone for their support. The Srebrenica Memorial Quilt was also shown at the Rayburn office building in DC, as well as in Toronto and NYC. Please take a look at the new AP web pages for the quilt if you have a chance: http://advocacynet.org/page/srebrenicaquilt

There are currently 3 quilts in the US. They are available for presentations on college campuses. Anyone interested in hosting a quilt event may contact me. I will be happy to provide you with a film about the quilt and other information. Thank you once again for your continued support!

Alison Sluiter
asluiter@advocacynet.org

Daniel said...

Photos from the 13th Commemoration of Srebrenica Genocide:

1. http://bhstring.net/tuzlauslikama/tuzlarije/forum/viewtopic.php?TopicID=561666&page=0

2. http://bhstring.net/tuzlauslikama/tuzlarije/forum/viewtopic.php?TopicID=561666&page=1

3. http://bhstring.net/tuzlauslikama/tuzlarije/forum/viewtopic.php?TopicID=561666&page=2

4. http://bhstring.net/tuzlauslikama/tuzlarije/forum/viewtopic.php?TopicID=561666&page=3

5. http://bhstring.net/tuzlauslikama/tuzlarije/forum/viewtopic.php?TopicID=561666&page=4

6. http://bhstring.net/tuzlauslikama/tuzlarije/forum/viewtopic.php?TopicID=561666&page=5

7. http://bhstring.net/tuzlauslikama/tuzlarije/forum/viewtopic.php?TopicID=561666&page=6

8. http://bhstring.net/tuzlauslikama/tuzlarije/forum/viewtopic.php?TopicID=561666&page=7

Kirk Johnson said...

Thanks for the comments, everybody. I need to do something more to continue to promote the quilt.

Shaina, the event was sober and low-key. People mostly gathered in groups and talked; I only knew one person and he was involved in a rather involved discussion in Serbo-Croat so I only spoke with him briefly.

As an aside (and betraying the fact that I'm becoming an old fart in my 40s!), one minor irritation was the fact that a couple of young people, whom I assume were Georgetown students since the embassy is right next to campus, had not bothered running back to their dorm rooms or apartments after class to change into slightly more appropriate clothing.

I usually wear a suit when I go to embassy events--because I went straight from work I was relatively dressed down in slacks and a knit shirt. At any rate, I always try to keep in mind that I am a guest of a foreign country.

One young lady--who I'm sure meant well and was sincerely trying to learn about Bosnia and show support--was in very short shorts and a none-too-modest top. Lots of skin showing, which normally I'm all for (I'm not THAT old!) but this was a memorial for an act of genocide. Belly-button rings are not appropriate attire.

That, of course, is a very minor quibble and had nothing to do with the event itself. My friend was concerned that the second speaker was too political--he addressed the Republika Srpska by name, and stressed the importance of finding Karadzic and Mladic and bringing them to justice. What a minefield Bosnian politics are.

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