July 10, 2024

Wednesday on the Promenade of Culture: the Anniversary of the Genocide in Srebrenica marked with the special programme

Today is 10 July and this Wednesday is different from all the previous Wednesday, because the saddest day of the year is approaching, the day when silence speaks louder than all the words.

On the eve of 11 July, another anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports decided to mark this sad date by adapting the usual Wednesday on the Promenade of Culture to this sad occasion, painting it with the colour of the culture of memory and commemorating the innocent victims of Srebrenica.

On this occasion, the Federal Minister of Culture and Sports, Sanja Vlaisavljević, addressed the guests:

“I am pleased that we gathered here in front of the temple of culture, in front of our Ministry of Culture and Sports. Well, today I’m not sure how I can pronounce these words – happy or pleased in the way we usually use them, I’m not sure how much the words I will say will resemble the words of politicians, ministers who usually have the written speeches in front of them. Especially when it comes to commemorations. This kind of speech must not be read out. It has to be told. This morning, going on a business trip, I saw about fifty beautiful young people on bicycles. I stopped for a moment and thought – where are they going in this heat? As my journey progressed, I saw that they were gathering from different places and realized what their final destination was and where they were going… Returning, I thought that tomorrow, after more than a decade, one of these cyclists would be buried at the age of seventeen. Seventeen… He wasn’t even an adult. Those who survived and will gather around his grave know best how they feel. I am convinced that all of us here have heavy and strong emotions. We always have emotions, not only on another anniversary, on another 11 July… We who can must cultivate a culture of memory. And that is why we are here today.  There are some moments, some situations and occasions when it is our imperative that we must not give up. We, the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports, as one small family, tried to make this day a day of remembrance for all those babies who have just breathed life, all the older ones, their parents, brothers, sisters, who are gone, but also to be a strength to those who are there… We want them to know that they have us, that they are in our hearts and minds and that it will always be like that. Not only on the dates of the commemoration, but throughout the days, months and years… It is our duty to cherish their memory,” emphasized the Minister in an emotional speech, and invited the guests for a minute’s silence to honour those who will finally find peace tomorrow.

Today’s program featured a piano teacher Adis Vuga, who performed Bach’s Prelude in C major, and Mia Soldo, a student of the Elementary Music School of Ilidža, performed the song “Ruža” by composer Dora Pejačević.

In memory of the victims of the genocide in Srebrenica, Stela Despotović, from the Association for the Affirmation of Ballet Art and Contemporary Dance “Živimo balet”, presented the guests with a ballet performance to the music of Frederik Chopin.

The programme ended with a message of peace, love, but also memory and admonition for all present and future generations, with the song “Samo da rata ne bude”.