Cellist of Sarajevo
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The book is about the use of hatred to attempt to divide society along ethnic lines in the 1990s war in Bosnia “One is to understand what happens to the world and us as individuals when we abdicate responsibility for who we hate. As individuals we’re very careful about whom we choose to love. We don’t typically let governments and huge corporations tell us who to love and when they try to, we become very suspicious. Wars start because one group of people thinks another group hates them and responds with equal measure.” “Civilization is an agreement people have to behave in certain ways towards each other.
It’s not governments and roads and buildings and stock markets. When you engage with works of art you are participating in that conversation. You are judging what is good and what is bad, and what you want and don’t want. It’s really important if we want to have civilization that individuals continue to do this in a thoughtful and reflective way.” Kenan steels himself for his weekly walk through the dangerous streets to collect water for his family on the other side of town in the face of danger. He must weigh the value of generosity against selfish survivalism. Paralyzed with fear, uncertain when the next shot will land on the bridges or streets they must cross.