On my last day in Sarajevo I visited the Srebrenica Memorial gallery in honour of the 8372 people who died in the massacre of Srebrenica in 1995. The exhibition features Tarik Samarah’s photographs, two documentaries and the wall of death–a 16 meter (52.5 feet) long wall with the names of those brutally killed in Srebrenica. The footage and interviews of the documentary was the stuff of nightmares, horrific images, haunting eyes, mothers’ voices: “my son had green eyes”, “my son had a round face like mine”, “why would they do this to my son?”. It is hard not to look away from those images and yet, you feel like you owe it to those people, to yourself–it is one’s duty to be aware. By the time the second documentary was over, I needed some air. In the elevator we bumped into the receptionist whose shift was over and so I asked her: “Do you see many people going out in tears?”
“Yes, but we are used to it”, she replied. And I felt like the response was equally painful.