Šejla Kamerić is a Bosnian visual artist. She works with various media such as film, photography, objects or drawings. The all-pervading elements in her work are her – often uneasy – memories. She is using them as a power source by sharpening the focus of the present through the burden past. Based on her own experiences, memories and dreams, her work takes us to glocal spaces of displacement and discrimination. The sadness and beauty, hope and pain that shine out of her works are part of the stories we share. The weight of her themes stands in powerful contrast to her individual aesthetics and to her choice of delicate materials. She is a laureate of several important awards, regional and wider European, among which the European Cultural Foundation Princess Margriet Award for Cultural Diversity. We are publishing three pictures from her video “1395 Days without Red”, one of her most well-known works.
In collaboration with Anri Sala and Ari Benjamin Meyers
Starring Maribel Verdú and Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra
A woman makes her way through an empty city. At every crossing she stops, looks and listens. Should she wait or should she run? Should she wait for others or take the risk on her own?
The city is Sarajevo, and the route the woman takes became known as Sniper Alley during the siege of the city endured by its citizens for 1395 days between 1992 and 1996. The woman, played by Spanish actress Maribel Verdú, is reliving the experience of the trauma of the siege. It is her individual journey in the collective memory of the city.
1395 Days without Red draws on the experience of the siege of Sarajevo between 1992 and 1996 and the trauma of the besieged citizens as they made their way through the city. The title refers to the fact that, during the siege, the Sarajevans were advised not to wear bright colours that might alert the snipers in the hills above to their movements.
Throughout the siege, the Sarajevo Symphony Orchestra continued to play. In the film 1395 Days Without Red the orchestra rehearses Tchaikovsky’s 6th symphony, the Pathetique. The musicians stop and start, repeating different sections of the symphony, just as the woman stops and starts in the city. Hearing the music in her head, she finds the courage to carry on.