On day 3 of our trip to Bosnia we visited the city of Srebrenica where thousands lost their lives. We started filming in Srebrenica by filming Mohammed, one of the survivors next to the tunnel that he came through when he escaped. Then we went on to film at the cemetery. Filming in the cemetery, really put into perspective the whole situation for me, seeing all the headstones and reading some of the descriptions really made it hit home how young were some of those who were killed. The sheer number of the dead was mind blowing and to think there were mass burial sites still being discovered. Just thinking about that made me think how they used to move the dead from one burial site to another to avoid the sites being found which usually led to the bodies being separated and this therefore made it a much longer process for the families to receive the bodies to finally lay them to rest.
On the drive to Srebrenica we drove through the Sarajevo, we were used to seeing the shelled streets and the building with remnants of the assault on the city by the snipers, but driving through the countryside and seeing the open land and thinking that people ran across the land to escape while being attacked by the snipers and soldiers and it may have been raining or snowing but they still tried to do everything that they could to escape.
When we were filming Mohammed’s story it was unreal to imagine the fear that he must have felt as he tried to escape. It was beyond my imagination. He also spoke of his family and while we were at the cemetery we saw the names of people that had died and there were names of whole families that had died.
It just made me think of all the families that had been torn apart due to the senseless violence that had been carried out against a group of people for no justifiable reason. It also made me think of the question that we came to Bosnia with, ‘Can justice be served to the people of Bosnia?’ and then and there it felt as if justice could never be fully served to those people as justice will not bring back their loved ones, but it could provide them with some closure to that part of their lives and that would help them to try and move forward, and for them that would be a huge milestone in trying to overcome this horrific event.