War Childhood: Voices from Sarajevo for Our Times (Paperback)
In this unforgettable book of 1,000+ quotes and 20 full-page color photos, adults reflect on their childhoods in war.
In 2010, Sarajevo native Jasminko Halilovic began following through on a dream: collecting as many short recollections from as many people as possible who were children during the Bosnian War, which from 1992 to 1995 claimed the lives of 101,000 people amid the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and changed Sarajevo's reputation from a onetime WInter Olympics paradise to a city under siege.
The result: a unique, visually engaging, and accessible book of 1,100 quotations by adults looking back on their childhoods in war. Halilovic collected the memories online, using the project's website and social media.
The book, War Childhood, was crowd-funded and published in Bosnian in Sarajevo, and in English translation for sale at the museum of the same name--the War Childhood Museum--that Halilovic founded in his native city in January 2017.
The book has four parts. The first comprises Halivovic's introductory essays on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, the siege of Sarajevo, and the project. The second, main section is a mosaic of the short recollections gathered during implementation of the project. The third is Halivovic's conclusion introducing the War Childhood Museum. while the fourth, final section has a visual focus, bringing together keepsakes: photographs, drawings, diary entries, stories, and letters.
Unique in having been cocreated by 1,100 people, this book also takes a specific approach to the presentation of their memories. The memories collected in the book are presented symmetrically. They are grouped both by theme and by emotion. Some entries from the different groups are mixed, but they are distributed in accord with a precisely calculated algorithm. In this way, a balance is struck between emotion and theme.
War Childhood is for anyone seeking an accessible, ultimately hopeful book on the effects of war on children--and, moreover, it is an indispensable reference for researchers and students in the fields of conflict studies and peacebuilding, history, childhood and adolescence, psychology and trauma, Eastern European studies, and mental health.
About the Author
Jasminko Halilovic, the editor, was born in 1988 in Sarajevo. He is the founder and director of the War Childhood Museum--the world's only museum exclusively focused on the experience of childhood affected by war. The author/editor of several books, including Sarajevo: My City, a Place to Meet (published in Bosnia and Herzegovina), he hold a degree in financial management and has spoken widely across the globe at universities and conferences. In 2018, Halilovic became the first Bosnian to be selected for prestigious Forbes "30 under 30" list. He is also the founder and president of URBAN Association--one of the leading cultural NGOs in the Balkans.