Nihad Kreševljaković

Sarajevo War Theatre - Memory Module
Theater Director - MESS

The Secret of Raspberry Jam

Conflict: Bosnia

A theater show directed by Selma Spahic

‘The Secret of Raspberry Jam’ is one of the most important books ever published about wartime Sarajevo, that, at the same time, almost never fingers the war.

The show ‘The Secret of Raspberry Jam’ is about today’s Sarajevo through the world of the novel by Karim Zaimovic ‘The Secrets of Raspberry Jam’. In all its brutality, intransigence and mercilessness, and its eclecticism, historical and spiritual wealth. It is about all of Karim’s obsessive themes, of intolerance towards diversity, the rule of mediocrity, the era of fear in which we live, the injustice that any minority bares as a result of their identity. At the same time, the show follows Karim’s elusive imagination, following an investigation similar to that of Dylan Dog, or film noir. We go to the entire globe, from Abu Dhabi, across the Sahara, to Bolivia, Argentina, then California, and then across the former Soviet Union to Germany and we end up in Sarajevo, in a teeming room of imagination in which one young man is typing on a typewriter with the knowledge and the talent resisting the brainless destruction of his city. And he wins.

Karim Zaimovic (1971-1995) was one of the greatest literary talents of the 20th century in this region. His tragic death has prevented the full development and realization of one of the enormous literary talents. However, ‘The Secret of Raspberry Jam’ secured Zaimović significant place in the history of Bosnian literature. This young prose writer and journalist left a lasting influence on contemporary Bosnian writing and comic art despite dying at the age of 24. His book has been created during the period of the siege . This is one of the main reasons why we believe it is important setting work of Karim Zaimović on the stage of Sarajevo War Theater. Many of our contemporaries think that the most tragic fate of Bosnian literature of the twentieth century is the fate of Karim Zaimović. Karim Zaimovic was killed by a grenade in August 1995 – just three months before the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement. Life and death of Karim Zaimović symbolise two extremes. On the one hand it is one of the finest examples of humanity, kindness, talent and knowledge while on the other hand, his fate testifies to the presence of parallel forces of evil (as hatred and chauvinism) which are also, unfortunately, still present in Bosnian society.

Karim Zaimović died on August 13th 1995 as a civilian victim of one of the many bombings of city of Sarajevo. He died in a hospital, where he was taken after being wounded by a grenade on August 7th. Shrapnel that killed him, they said, was no bigger than a grain of rice. Many believe the war ended with the death of Karim Zaimović.

Director: Selma Spahic
Dramatization: Adnan Lugonic, Bojana Vidosavljevic, Dario Bevanda
Scenery: Mirna Ler
Costume designer: Emina Hodzic-Adilovic
Production designer: Emina Kujundzic
Music: Damir Imamovic
VJ: Edita Gazibara
Design: Bojan Hadzihalilovic (Fabrika)
Cast: Ermin Bravo, Alban Ukaj, Jasenko Pasic, Benjamin Bajramovic, Snezana Alic, Adi Hrustemović
Producer: Nihad Kreševljaković, director of Sarajevo War Theater SARTR
Production: Sarajevo War Theater SARTR, in cooperation with Karim Zaimovic Foundation, International Theater Festival MESS and WARM

A WARM Partner and Co-Production Project

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