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Blood Without Honey

Blood Without Honey

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Blood Without Honey

Blood Without Honey

“If you don’t have an enemy, your mother will give birth to one.”

The Bosnian conflict of the 1990s was only the latest of the barbaric fratricidal wars that have plagued my beloved hometown in my former homeland. After finally uniting in 1918, following the assassination of Crown Prince Ferdinand in Sarajevo which served as a pretext for WWI, the South Slavs were torn apart by the German invasion in 1940s, which inflamed a religion-driven genocide. The country was made whole again, thanks to the partisan war of liberation and the strong hand of Tito’s “fraternity and unity” movement, but after his death, the country disintegrated. In the 1990s, the sons and daughters of Yugoslavia fought against each other and divorced in the flames of a cruel genocide. The marriage had lasted less than three-quarters of a century.

The irrationality of the atavistic Balkan conflicts makes them hard to explain. The recent movie "Land of Blood and Honey" tried to do so and in the eyes of Sarajevo witnesses of the infamous three-year siege failed.

A native son, uprooted by the first Bosnian genocide in WWII, witnessing the second from abroad, I tried to make sense of it all in my two books, "The Last Exile" and "Requiem for a Country." To further help me explain the inexplicable, "Blood Without Honey" now brings in as witness my newly “found” niece, Inga Geko, mother of a young child and herself a victim of the infamous three-year siege by sectarian forces of the once most tolerant of European cities.

About the book cover: The photograph for the cover was taken by Dutch photographer and web designer, Marcel Oosterwijk, in 2009. In his own words (from his website, http://www.marceloosterwijk.com), "his greatest motivation is the excitement about the negative space that is omnipresent in the human world. Those fringes in reality can make him sad, but also fulfill a deeply felt happiness and hope. Only when others overlook it, he finds the right tension to take a photo."

His collection of photos from Bosnia-Herzegovina can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/wackelijmrooster/sets/72157621929981053/