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Media, Spreading information
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Sarajevo, UK
“Don’t let them kill us”
The “Miss Besieged Sarajevo” beauty contest was organized on May 29, 1993 in the basement of the Bosanski Kulturni Centar. The idea of the organizers was to celebrate beauty as a means of resistance against destruction and barbarism, and to show to the world that life was continuing in Sarajevo and that the international community should stop with its neutral and passive attitude towards the war. As the contest ended, 17 -year old winner Inela Nogić and the other contestants stood on the stage with a big banner reading “Don’t let them kill us”. The writing was in English, so that the international journalists and photographers in attendance could transmit this image to the rest of the world.
The beauty contest provided the inspiration for the title of Bill Carter’s documentary “Miss Sarajevo” and also for the song of the same name, which was produced by U2 and Brian Eno and first performed in 1995 with the participation of Luciano Pavarotti. Both the documentary and the video for the song used footage from the “Miss Besieged Sarajevo” contest, including the appearance of the banner reading “Don’t let them kill us”, further emphasising their appeal to the international public not to forget and abandon Sarajevo and its inhabitants.