Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide

An exhibit featuring art and information: Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide is available for viewing in the Morris University Center Gallery through Nov. 3. Information about the event may be found on College of Arts and Sciences: Galleries.

The following is from literature handed out at the opening reception on Tuesday, Oct. 12.

    From 1992 to 1995, a genocidal war engulfed the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Prijedor, extreme nationalist Serbian forces seized control over the military and governmental apparatus of the one-time multi-ethnic community and began a systematic persecution of the area’s Muslim and Catholic population. Thousands in and around Prijedor were subjected to extreme and escalating violations of human rights, including dismissal from jobs, expulsion from homes, forced labor, use as human shields, imprisonment in concentration camps and, ultimately, torture, rape and mass killing.When the first Bosnian refugees began arriving in St. Louis in the early 1990s, they were mainly survivors from concentration camps and killing centers in the Bosnian city of Prijedor. Their arrival—against a backdrop of targeted expulsion and attempted experimentation of civilians—signaled the reemergence of genocide in Europe at the end of the 20th century. A generation that had embraced the imperative “never again” now watched another European community undergo a genocidal “ethnic cleansing.’

    More than a decade later, St. Louis is home to an estimated 50,000 Bosnians, giving  us the largest Bosnian community outside of Bosnia. Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide is a unique, multi-year collaboration among genocide survivors from Prijedor; faculty and students from Fontbonne University; and the staff of the Holocaust Museum. The exhibit honors both the memory of the lives lost in the Prijedor genocide and the experiences of the survivors whose stories are here told.

This exhibition is presented by the SIUE Alumni Association with the support of the following:

  • SIUE Meridian Society
  • SIUE Friends of Art
  • The Morris University Center
  • The University Museum
  • The Edwardsville Arts Council
  • The Jacoby Arts Center, Alton

The objects in the exhibition have been provided through the generous cooperation of the singleton-Bliss Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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