Irfan Hošić, PhD
University of Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Migratory experience in Bosnian and Herzegovinian contemporary art
In the years following the 1990’s war, the register of the diasporic Bosnian and Herzegovinian art production became gradually filled with works that deal with displacement, memory, and trauma. Scattered across the globe as a direct result of the war, artists such as Bojan Sarčević, Aida Šehović, Amer Kobašlija, Endi Pošković, Mladen Bundalo, Naida Begeta, Nermin Duraković, Damir Radović, Amir Husak, Sanela Jahić, Zlatan Vehabović, Alem Korkut, Margareta Kern and Irma Mauklin address personal and collective memories of the violent exodus and the social environments they originally belonged to. The works of these artists are coded with artistic vocabulary that refers to the processes of transnational re-identification while – at the same time – they enact a struggle to preserve the memories that were formed at the moment of forcible separation from their homeland. Interpretation of these works is inevitably multilayered and bespeaks the complexity of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian multiethnic society; the Balkan conflict of the 1990s; and the social stratification conditioned by historic discontinuities and the adverse political circumstances of today. In essence, we are dealing with reproductions of experiences related to migration trauma, and a specific aesthetic of mediation and reception.
Bosnian and Herzegovinian emigration of the 1990s can be placed in the contexts of both continuous practice of migration and consecutive failures of forming a collective migration conscious. This paper aims to examine the key characteristics of the phenomenon and offer a new reading of contemporary Bosnian Herzegovinian art through the prism of recent (global) migrations from east to west.
Irfan Hošić completed his PhD thesis at the Department of Art History at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. His field of research is the art of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 20th century. He was a co-curator of the Pavilion of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013). Hošić is an assistant professor at the Textile Department at the University of Bihać, where he teaches Art History and Modern Art and Design. He also works as an art critic and a free lance curator.