Points of Impasse

"Points of Impasse" is an ongoing project that explores the lasting impact of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It brings attention to the division and dysfunction in the country. The Dayton Peace Agreement established the Inter-Entity Boundary Line in 1995., which divided the nation, cementing ethnic divisions. The project seeks to highlight the absurdity of the created limbo state. Hand-sewing serves to make the invisible boundary clearly visible. It is also a powerful tool for trauma healing. As a manual and repetitive activity, sewing helps enter a state of mindfulness, which is beneficial for managing trauma symptoms.

A half-repaved road near the neighborhood Vraca in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It marks the inter-entity boundary line subdividing the country into Republika Srpska, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Brcko District. The road is only partially repaved due to the ongoing inability of entities to collaborate on road maintenance, resulting in what is a common sight along the boundary line.

The Vraca Memorial Park in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina is dedicated to the victims of World War II. During the war AVNOJ, with Tito as president, declared Bosnia and Herzegovina as a republic within the borders from 1918. Today, the park is divided by a new kind of 'border' that runs right next to the Tito monument and is symbolically dividing Bosnia and Herzegovina in two.

A fence on the roof marks the partition of a parking garage between two entities. It is located in the Sarajevo neighborhood of Dobrinja, which remains divided by the Inter-Entity Boundary Line (IEBL) established by the Dayton Peace Agreement. In 2001, the High Commissioner appointed an independent international arbitrator who revised the inter-entity boundary line, addressing some of the most pressing issues in areas like Dobrinja I and IV.

Abandoned war trenches at Zlatište remain as a lasting reminder of the makeshift shelters created by defenders of Sarajevo. During the war, civilians-turned-soldiers dug trenches at Zlatište, on the outskirts of Sarajevo, to serve as the front line for defending the city.

The ‘Cross to all Orthodox Serbs’ monument standing in Mrdjanovci, Kupres. Kupres, which was the site of intense fighting during the Bosnian War, is home to a diverse mix of Bosniak, Croat, and Serbian communities. Despite the conflict, many Serbs continue to live in the region and this monument serves as a reminder of their history and identity.

In Dobrinja IV, Sarajevo, fallen leaves were recently cleared along the inter-entity line by RAD "Istočno Sarajevo", but only on the Republic Srpska side of the public garage that sits directly on the boundary between entities. The maintenance of the garage and the surrounding area is a shared responsibility between the two jurisdictions, but only the Republic Srpska side has been cleaned. This highlights the ongoing challenges of managing public spaces in areas that remain divided by political and ethnic lines, even decades after the conflict ended.

Reconstruction is underway on the left side (FBiH) sidewalk in Dobrinja neighborhood of Sarajevo, while the right side (RS) remains ruined. Dobrinja, one of the biggest neighborhoods in the city, is divided by the Inter-Entity Boundary Line (IEBL) established by the Dayton peace agreement

Woods on the mountain of Trebević above Sarajevo. Today, a favorite destination for locals seeking fresh air and hiking, but during the conflict in the early 1990s it was occupied by Bosnian Serb troops. Due to its strategic position over the city, the mountain became one of the main points from which Sarajevo was besieged. In 1995, the Dayton Peace Agreement ended the conflict and created the new constitution, establishing two entities - Federation and Republika Srpska - whose boundary line runs across the mountain.

Landscape photo of the Kupres region in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This valley was the setting of intense fighting during the Bosnian War, which left many buildings damaged and scarred the people who lived there. Today, Kupres is slowly recovering, attracting visitors with its natural beauty and rich culture.

The abandoned 'Energoinvest' hotel in Crepoljsko polje, near Sarajevo, serves as a reminder of the impact the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina had on the country's infrastructure and tourism industry. “Energoinvest” company went bankrupt and the hotel remains vacant due to the inter-entity boundary line passing next and through it. Because of its position, deciding property rights is difficult, thus leaving it as a symbol of the ongoing division and separation in the country.

© Armin Graca - All rights reserved.
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