Franz Ferdinand 2016
Stéphane Bonjour, Lana Čmajčanin, diSTRUKTURA, Marianne Marić, Damir Radović, Selma Trtovac
“Z as Ferdinand”
We are in 2013 with Marjorie Glas, Baptiste Tanné and Sébastien Roux at the Hotel Europe, in the center of Sarajevo. We are sharing some Sarajevsko Pivo’s and talking about the future commemorations that will be held in the capital of Bosnia Herzegovina to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the World War I. Several European authorities, diplomatic representations and VIP’s will get together in Sarajevo on the 28th June 2014, a century after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, heir of an Austro-Hungarian declining Empire, but that was still dominating Balkans.
A great opportunity, we think, to observe closely an international scale memorial schedule, and to draw up the guidelines for a project deeply linked to the cultural and political reception of such an event, in today’s Sarajevo and Europe context. From the official announcement of the commemorations, the cultural and diplomatic world of Sarajevo goes into action : the European funding invested in the event is supposed to be huge, and all the potential pretenders claim a right to a piece of the pie.
Many of them wish to take advantage of the financial flows and of a very wide coverage. Numerous projects are carried out, the stakes and the outlooks for local and foreign organisations provide interesting expectations. Into the background of this economic opportunity, the local medias are saturated with historical controversies and memorial debates about the events that provoked the first worldwide conflict : was Gavrilo Princip’shot, that killed the archiduke and his a wife a liberating or a criminal action ? The traumatic memories of the Yougoslavian wars, of ethnic cleansing, of the murderous siege of Sarajevo in the 90s, come to interfere with the reading of 1914’s events. The social and symbolic stakes of commemorations slowly show their true colors. They appear from a context that makes the stakes even more prominent : the country is deeply divided, torn by a never-ending social and economic crisis, by a structural bankrupt of institutions, by the corruption related to local and international mafias and to the domination of the international community.
Moreover, we are in a context in which a political Europe is being seeked; and the building of such a “uniting” event would represent a great ideological opportunity. We are in 2013 in Hotel Europe and it seems obvious that we will attend an event – the commemorations – that will be full of possible meanings and interpretations. We have the idea to create in Sarajevo an observatory of the event that would gather artists, sociologists, researchers coming from France, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. One we’ll get past the commemorations, we will be able to render as an exhibition the observations we made during our initial meeting. Here we are : after several twists and turns, notably in Belgrade and in the Gran Lux in Saint-Etienne, the exhibition will be presented in Sarajevo on May 10th 2016.