The Dayton peace agreement that set out with the goal of stopping the armed conflict in 1995 divided Bosnia and Herzegovina into two main entities: Republika Srpska, with a predominantly Serbian population, and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where mostly Bosniaks and Croats live. Two decades after the Dayton agreement, the existing confederal structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina suffers from many inner weaknesses, one of them being the failure to establish an effective environmental governance, due to the fact that neither of these entities has the capacity to autonomously handle the environmental sector. As a result of unregulated waste management outside of the urban centres, neglect makes its mark on the landscape – especially around the numerous river basins.
still / adjective / devoid of or abstaining from motion, uttering no sound : quiet, subdued, muted; calm, tranquil, free from noise or turbulence
still / adverb / always, continually
The work STILL consists of a sound-video installation, photographs, and text.
The sound installation features the sound recording of a rehearsal by Princess Krofne. The recorded songs were extremely popular in the former Yugoslavia. The children we hear performing were not even born when the popularity of those songs was at its high point; they were born after the war and the collapse of Yugoslavia.
The “Princess Krofne” children’s choir was founded by Zlatko Bostandzic in 1993, during the siege of Sarajevo. It is a choir for children aged 6 to 14, which aims to provide them with an activity to look forward to each week. One of the original singers selected the choir’s name, “Princess Krofne”, a kind of cream puff pastry that at a time of siege and hunger in Sarajevo was simply wishful thinking.
The black-and-white photo shows the room where Princess Krofne rehearses. The room is located in an empty youth centre, built as an integral part of the cultural and sports centre, Skenderija. It was one of the most modern facilities of this type in the former Yugoslavia and became very popular when the stars of Balkan pop and rock music held their concerts there. The building was set on fire during the war, in May 1992. The renovation of the facility began in 2005.
The video installation shows the River Drinjaca in Bosnia. Due to unregulated utility requirements for the removal of rubbish and waste, local residents threw their waste in the river. The river carries some of it away, while most discarded items become a part of the environment, and blend with it, even creating new forms and becoming new nature.
The text exhibited together with the photograph, contain the names of the children present during the “Princess Krofne” choir rehearsal, recorded on April 2, 2013.