bosnian girl #3

Bosnian Girl #3
mixed media
50 x 70 cm

Under an unfinished self-portrait painted in oil, there are three blocks of phrases. I wrote down the sentences that were said to me by my school teachers, children in school and their parents, or even just complete strangers, while growing up in Slovenia. The middle block is collection of phrases told by my close and extended family, mostly expectations and responsibilities in regard to my gender. And lastly a block of phrases by people, again many of whom strangers, I encounter on my trips going back to Bosnia and Herzegovina to visit.

My work references the original Bosnian Girl by Šejla Kamerić made in 2003 and Bosnian Girl #2 by Smirna Kulenović made in 2017. Both artists worked directly with the consequences of genocide imposed onto BiH people of muslim ethnicity in Srebrenica in 1995. In my opinion, their work is elaborating the relationship between the aggressor and the victim, in this way searching ways with which to overcome the shame imposed onto this one ethnical and gender group.

My Bosnian Girl #3 is dealing with the consequences of the war in terms of otherness and feelings of displacement. It highlights the hidden aggression towards the identity in form of guilt and shame. But! By saying it out loud, the words lose on its power.

(c) Sanja Lasić