Sarajevo Rose

Remember these redundant names: Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Soviet Union, U.S.S.R.?

After communism started to fall in 1990 everything fell apart in Eastern Europe. The Soviet Government started to weaken until it eventually dissolved in 1991 and what followed was a period of nationalism and conflict - for autonomy and power - in some of the regions involved.

Former Yugoslavia was one such region and what prevailed was the Bosnian War, which involved Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. It was the same issues of autonomy and power but unfortunately ethnic cleansing was also thrown into the mix. The war that resulted between March 1992 and November 1995 claimed between 100,000-110,000 lives and displaced 1.8 million people. 66% of the documented casualties were Bosnian.

Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina and it was a central zone for conflict during the Bosnian War. Enemy troops were stationed in the surrounding hills and would constantly bombard the city with artillery to stop the home army from deploying. It's been estimated that over 300 shell rounds were fired into the city per day.

The appearance of a mortar round hitting concrete is similar to that of a flower. A Sarajevo Rose is a concrete scar that is the result of a mortar shell explosion that was later filled-in with red resin. These Sarajevo Roses are seen all throughout the city and mark where one or more people have been killed by mortar explosions.

[Below] This is what a mortar looks like:

[Below] A mortar shell...

[Below] And this is a different Sarajevo Rose. She enjoys long walks in the park, holding hands and sniffing the petrol cap every time she takes the car for a re-fill. Rose's favorite food is Puppy Pie.

War is bad. Nobody ever wins. Everyone loses. It is a shameful act.

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