Damir Šagolj

Photographer - Director, WARM
Journalist, Le Monde

Traces of Humanity

“Traces of humanity” is a journey through the spirit of Sarajevo, through a certain idea of dignity and courage, sometimes of heroism. Or, as they say in Sarajevo, a certain idea of “neighborhood”.

This exhibition by the journalist Rémy Ourdan and the photographer Damir Sagolj, inspired by a series of articles published in Le Monde, combines journalistic reports, historical documents and artistic works. It rewinds the history of the city of Sarajevo, from the arrival of Jews from Al-Andalus to the Purim revolt and the rescue of the precious Haggadah, from the aid given to Jews by Muslims and Christians during the Holocaust, to the aid provided by Jews to others who were besieged during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

From Sarajevo, “the new Toledo” for some, or the last “Jerusalem of Europe” for others, the first target of the return of nationalism to the Old Continent, besieged at the end of the 20th century, the authors went to Jerusalem, world city, center and symbol of the People of the Book and of the fractures of today’s world.

Sarajevo tells a universal story. What is it like to be good neighbors in the worst times of a city, a society, a nation? What does it mean to become a righteous in wartime?

The authors trace itineraries of resistance figures, brave combatants and heroes hitherto anonymous, ordinary people performing extraordinary acts when war and violence are unleashed upon them. They travelled in the footsteps of men and women who placed universal values ​​above identity, or political and religious conflagrations.

“Traces of Humanity” invites us to celebrate a light that shines in the heart of darkness.

“I will give them a monument and a name (“yad vashem”) which will never be effaced”, is it written (Isaiah, chapter 56, verse 5). Let us give a name to the righteous.

“Let’s raise our heads, look at our neighbors and smile,” was said in besieged Sarajevo, at a time when the city thought it was dying. Let us smile to our neighbors.

Journey in search of “traces of humanity”.

Tribute to an art of living.

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