|How to act||
Culture, Media, Spreading information, Visits
Berlin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Sarajevo
Special issue “Lettre International”
In Autumn 1995, Frank Berberich, the director of the cultural magazine “Lettre International” (LI) based in Berlin, travelled to Sarajevo. The magazine had published individual texts about the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the years before, for example by Susan Sontag, but the longer the war lasted, the more Frank Berberich and his colleagues became aware of the “linguistic impotence, the emotional helplessness, the intellectual paralysis of the intellectual milieus” in Germany with regard to the violence against BiH, attitudes they also experienced themselves. They felt the need to do something more substantial and decided to publish a special issue dedicated exclusively to the “Sarajevo experience”: a tribute to the cultural resistance of the besieged city, an encounter between intellectuals and artists from BiH and the rest of the world, a reflection on the international failure to take sides in favour of those defending European ideals.
For the LI team it was clear that such an issue about Sarajevo could only be made with Sarajevo, and so Frank Berberich travelled to the city where, with the support of Marusa Krese, he got in contact with various cultural actors. He was met with scepticism: Why are you coming so late? And who says that this is not just another great idea that will never be realised? Nevertheless, an editorial team formed in Sarajevo, including Zdravko Grebo, Nermina Kurspahić, Ozren Kebo and Izeta Građević, who worked with the LI team in Berlin. The result was this special edition with numerous texts by Bosnian and international authors, poems, e.g. by Ferida Duraković and Czeslaw Milosz, and artistic illustrations, e.g. by Nusret Pašić for the cover illustration. In addition to the German issue, a Bosnian edition of LI was also published a few months later, which was prepared exclusively by the editorial staff in Sarajevo, without being a copy of the German version.