Lana Čmajčanin

Don't Dream Dreams


  • Lana Čmajcanin, Don't Dream Dreams, 2023

    Wallpaper, neon, electrical equipment

    450 x 335 cm (variable)

The northern camp of the Austro-Hungarian army near Mostar in 1878 - painted by Alexander Ritter von Bensa the Younger, Adolf Obermüller and Alexander Kaiser - is housed in the Museum of Military History in Vienna. It is a document of the imperial history of the Habsburg dynasty. The target of the Austro-Hungarian troops was the Ottoman Vilâyet Bosnia, which roughly corresponded to the territory of the present-day state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In accordance with the agreements made at the Congress of Berlin in 1878, the occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the joint Austro-Hungarian army took place in the same year.

Even 30 years after the Bosnian War from 1992 to 1995, Mostar is still a divided city. The tension between predominantly Catholic Croats, Orthodox Serbs and Muslim Bosnians is palpable. The war has left deep wounds. Belonging to the different cultural areas, which are and were so fruitful for European diversity, is not utilised enough as an opportunity.

The Bosnian wars were only formally ended with the signing of the Dayton Agreement at the end of 1995. Large parts of the Vance / Owen peace plan developed by the United Nations and the European Union for the former Yugoslavia and the political and regional division of Bosnia and Herzegovina have still not been signed in 2023 and, above all, have not been realised and accepted.

"Don't Dream Dreams" was also the advice that Lord David Owen gave to the Bosnian population in 1992, when their capital Sarajevo was under siege from the Serbian side, over 2 million mainly Muslim Bosnians were displaced and ethnic mass murders were deliberately committed against them.

The advice was precise: "Don't, don't, don't live under this dream that the west is going to come and sort this problem out."

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