Sarajevo Hosts War Reporters’ Festival – Elvira Jukic, Balkan Insight, BIRN

30 Jun 15

Sarajevo Hosts War Reporters’ Festival

War correspondents, historians, film-makers and activists gathered in Sarajevo for an annual festival aimed at promoting the best of conflict reporting and war-related art.

Elvira M. Jukic – BIRN – Sarajevo

The second annual festival staged by the WARM Foundation, an organisation started by war reporters aimed at “telling the story with excellence and integrity”, runs until Saturday in the Bosnian capital with a programme of films, exhibitions and debates about recent conflicts.
French journalist Remy Ourdan, who covered the 1992-95 Bosnian war for the Paris-based Le Monde newspaper and is now the president of the WARM Foundation, told BIRN that the focus of the festival was finding ways to uphold the truth about contemporary conflicts.
“People are lying, people are rewriting the history and everybody doesn’t agree what happened. The truth is worth fighting for,” Ourdan said.
“It’s about truth, justice, education. It’s about the next generation. People deserve the truth. It’s already terrible enough, all these wars and victims. At least you give them the truth. Truth is the beginning of justice,” he added.
Films being screened include the world premiere of ‘Srebrenica’s Voices’ by Nedim Loncarevic and the award-wining documentary about a US platoon in Afghanistan, ‘Restrepo’ by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger.
Junger’s film about Hetherington, an acclaimed photojournalist who was killed during the conflict in Libya in 2011, will also be shown.
Exhibitions include Emeric Lhuisset’s photographs from the revolution in Ukraine and Marcus Bleasdale’s images of the recent violence in the Central African Republic.
Ourdan said the WARM foundation ultimately hopes to set up its own permanent Centre on Contemporary Conflicts in Sarajevo.
“Sarajevo is a symbol of war…which is not only a tragedy, because Sarajevo resisted, Sarajevo survived, defended some values. It could be a positive symbol,” he said.
“The second reason is that everybody can come [here]. You have other cities in the world which are symbols of war, but not everybody can go [there]. The third reason is more personal: we love the city,” he added.

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