Note No. 5953
Note to Correspondents
‘WHY ARE YOU NOT THERE?’ EXHIBIT ON SREBRENICA MASSACRE
OPENS AT UN HEADQUARTERS 11 JULY
An exhibit installation entitled “Why are you not there?” commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre opens in the South Gallery of the General Assembly Visitors’ Lobby on 11 July. The traditional Bosnian ritual of gathering for coffee is the central vehicle for this art installation by artist Aida Šehović, a Bosnian refugee living in the United States.
The main idea behind this installation is to pay tribute to the first identified victims of the massacre by pouring cups of coffee for them that will forever wait to be enjoyed. The number of cups used in the installation will depend on the number of people that will be identified and reburied (to date 1,705). The cups -- collected from Bosnian families in the United States, residents of Srebrenica and neighbouring areas, some who lost family in the massacre -- are placed on a bed of soil depicting the map of Bosnia and Herzegovina. All the cups will be placed next to each other at the eastern edge of the map in the area of Srebrenica. As part of the performance for this installation, Bosnian coffee is made on the spot and served in the cups. Forty-four cups hold only sugar cubes representing those under age 18, too young for the ritual, who had died. The installation is enhanced by recordings of the artist reciting the names and birthdates of the victims.
The making and serving of coffee will take place from 12 pm to 5 pm beginning today, 11 July, over a period of five days, representing the number of days the massacre lasted, and will remain on display until 29 July. Other elements forming part of the exhibit are a collection of about 40 photographs by Bosnian photographers, a slide show showing the photographs in the exhibition, as well as a five-minute film showing the same installation being conducted by the artist in Sarajevo last year.
The exhibition is sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations, organized by the Academy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Inc., and supported by a grant from the Open Society Institute.
For more information on United Nations exhibitions, call Jan Arnesen, tel.: (212) 963-8531; or Liza Wichmann, tel.: (212) 963-0089, or visit the website at www.un.org/events/UNART.
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