La danse du destin

Sarajevo, 12 ans après

Amir and the uprooted tree

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Amir Hajric, aged 22, lives in Dobrinja, the suburb of Sarajevo that had been on front line during the war. This area had been completely destroyed and the vegetation had disappeared. People used wood from trees cut down for firewood. Today the place is green in a way I could never have imagined during the war. 
When I showed the picture of Amir in the street no one recognized him. Then an old teacher at the Skender Kulenovic primary school remembered the name of this exuberant teenager. But I did not have his address. Who could guide me better than a postman? That is how I happened to knock on the door of the Hajric family in 2006. 
The teenager had grown up but his face was still recognizable. 
The whole family gathered, amused and moved around this old photo.
“My name is Amir and I live in Dobrinja. As you can see, many things have changed. The neighbourhood has been rehabilitated, buildings restored. Both the trees and myself have grown up.
A few years ago I finished high school and afterwards went to university. For the past nine years, I’ve been playing football and I’m training seriously.
In fact I would like to become the coach of a major football team. The past is the past.I look ahead towards the future. It makes me dream and I need that. I’m a fan of Inter Milan. My favourite player is Adriano, the Brazilian. I want to become a big star like him. That’s my dream one day playing in with Inter Milan and who knows… I think that sometimes dreams turn into reality.”

Amer, the best accordion player during the war

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For Amer, life held a promising future playing the accordion. As child he was already the best. Then, after the war, luck turned its back on him, yet he tells it without a trace of complaint, with a sense of resignation, sadly fatalistic.
“My name is Amer Hodjic. I am thirty years old.Too many memories come back to mind with this picture. The photo was taken during a rehearsal for a concert at the end of the year at the Academy of Music. Our friendship started well and for that reason I am granting you this interview. My life has changed in twelve years. I finished my studies in 1995 and I participated in a contest of popular music in Istanbul, where I finished fourth best accordion player in Europe. At that time I was sure I would compose and play music. Over time, I realized that I had to fight to build my own life t I think that everyone turns to his work, struggles to make money and especially forgets or tries to forget the past. It’s a positive thing to look into the future, but not to forget. An episode marked my existence after the war. Forever. A serious traffic accident of the kind that happens every day. My skull, both legs and chest were smashed. I remained in the hospital for six months. After the accident I could not continue at the Academy of Music because my fingers hurt so much and I could no longer play as before. I was lucky to find a job that is related to music and I work for television as an editor of music programs. So music remains at the centre of my life.”