SARAJEVO - A walk in the everyday life


My arrival in Sarajevo marks the last stop of an amazing one-day trip across Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). A dive into the Slavic culture and context; a close encounter with the local population and territory; a radical but slow transition from the Western to the Eastern European landscape and mentality.

Sarajevo lies in the valley of the Miljacka river, surrounded by the Dinaric Alps. Located at the crossroad between Eastern and Western Europe, it has always been identified as the “Jerusalem of Europe” due to its highly cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic character, but also to the different dominations which ruled the country through the centuries.

After the Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Kingdom, and Tito’s Yugoslavia, today Sarajevo is the capital and biggest city of the Federal Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city still shows vivid the cultural heritage of its past in its architecture and districts, but also traditions and everyday life. Likewise, the Bosnian war and the recent financial crisis have profoundly impacted the capital on many levels.

However, taking a walk through the old bazaar and alleys of the historical city centre, and through the parks and streets of each district means much more than a simple stroll. While the mainstream attractions and locations certainly represent the historical and cultural core of Sarajevo, as soon as you stray from the beaten path the city begins to show you its most unique facets. From there, one can easily develop and establish multiple connections between Sarajevo and his/her own city through the trasposition of ordinary sounds and actions.

As it happens with new acquaintances, one eventually learns to understand and interact with Sarajevo, slowly experiencing all its various personalities and aspects. Here I documented this intimate encounter where sounds, smells, gestures, and routines become an open book for personal growth and an opportunity for an alternative kind of touristic experience.

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© Mattia Alunni Cardinali 2022
© Mattia Alunni Cardinali 2022