Šejla Kamerić

Behind the Scenes I


  • Šejla Kamerić, Behind the Scene I, 2019

    Wallpaper photograph

    250 x 183 cm (variable)

During the Bosnian War, the City of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was besieged by the Army of the Republic of Srpska from April 5, 1992 to February 29, 1996 for 1425 days. The city was under constant fire from artillery and tanks from the surrounding hills. Snipers controlled certain city escapes and turned some streets into 'sniper alleys' that could only be passed with the risk of death. A 'tunnel of hope' was constructed between March and June 1993 and was the only connection between the city and the outside world, to receive some food, war materials and humanitarian aid. This access also enabled the presence of the international press.

Šejla Kamerić was born in Sarajevo and was one of the inhabitants who tried to survive in a constantly threatened and fragile normalcy. Occasionally, the young woman made some money modeling for fashion shooting.
The fashion shoots for 'Behind the Scenes' were made in 1994 by Hannes M. Schlick, who worked as a war reporter and also for the Italian fashion magazine Moda. A young soldier, who happened to be standing guard nearby, loaned his automatic weapon and then modeled for some additional shots. The offered payment was one kilo of sugar each, but the young woman insisted on receiving 100 German Mark, which was the equivalent of the sugar on the black market. A number of fashion shoots were created. It took 25 years for Šejla Kamerić to come back to this episode in her life, she selected the two shots and thus continued her series of self-portraits.

In pencil, the artist wrote down some of her current thoughts and notes from her diaries above the photo print of 'Behind the Scenes II'.

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