Evil Doesn't Live Here: Posters of the Bosnian War

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9781568982687: Evil Doesn't Live Here: Posters of the Bosnian War

For most Americans and Europeans, the Bosnian War was played out in the brief, flickering images of television news. But another set of images, more permanent and more profound, played an active role in this war, molding public sentiment and calling attention to the plight of the Bosnian people. For three hellish years, Bosnians plastered the walls of their towns with messages of anger, frustration, desperation, resistance, and hope. These extraordinary images, the focus of this book, are juxtaposed with the hateful, divisive works of propaganda that served the most vicious practitioners of "ethnic cleansing." Evil Doesn't Live Here presents this visual battle to the rest of the world for the first time. Former Bosnian aid workers Daoud Sarhandi and Alina Boboc have gathered over 180 of the most dramatic wartime posters, largely created by Bosnian artists and graphic designers at the height of the war. Fascinating on both political and artistic levels, they provide a harrowing account of the war and put a human face on this seemingly incomprehensible conflict. David Rohde, author of the acclaimed Endgame: The Betrayal and Fall of Srebrenica and winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Bosnian War, introduces this vivid and unforgettable collection, which will appeal as much to those interested in current affairs as designers and artists. A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to victims of the Bosnian War.

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From Library Journal:

Much like the history of the Balkan Peninsula, this collection of poster art from the Bosnian war arouses an array of emotions and opinions: its treatment of the region's diversities is somewhat contradictory, and its attempt to communicate the ultimate truth behind the hatred that has consumed the region for so long is admirable but also cursory. While it should be noted that this collection is the first of its kind, it is also regrettable that the authors a British documentary film editor, a Romanian journalist, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times occasionally make stereotypical comments only a nonnative wouldn't take to heart. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the hazy introduction, where the causes of the war are oversimplified and the perpetrators of evil frequently referred to by their nationalities rather than extremist ideologies, thus encouraging the collectivization rather than the individualization of guilt. Politics aside, the posters, ranging from pure political propaganda to the desperate outbursts of innocent civilians, thankfully speak for themselves even when not written in English or in Latin script and the accompanying captions, although brief, supply relevant background information. Brought together in this way, these powerful examples of graphic art not only reveal two divergent sides of the human psyche but also remind us that the height of human creativity is often achieved under the most hostile circumstances. Mirela Roncevic, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

A beautiful, terrifying book. Sarhandi's introduction provides one of the best overviews of the conflict's history to be found anywhere. -- Life During Wartime, by Laura Secor, LA Times Book Review, April 7, 2002

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