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Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada

Images of Bosnian Genocide Survivors’ Eyes Mounted on TTC Station Platforms in Toronto, Canada

Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada
Published: September 29, 2010  

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Images of survivors’ eyes are mounted on TTC station platforms projecting their testimony onto major public landmarks. A hint of their stories is told through the eyes which contain artistically subtle graphics.

In the Sightings Mural of Fadil Kulasic, an 1992 Omarska concentration camp survivor and subsequently two other detention centers (he was held for 202 days), there are silhouettes of two men in his eyes. This can relate to several things that were inflicted upon Fadil.

Fadil mentioned, e.g., that two camp’s captors, who had knew Fadil as they all were the town’s folks, were maybe somewhat lenient to him. Fadil speculated it might be due to his respectful demeanor and attitude toward them in common encounters in the same town, while these two men had been otherwise teased and mocked by majority of the other town’s folks for their physical or other appearances / shortcomings.

However, Fadil has other significant experiences / memories which are much more powerful for the symbolism behind the “silhouettes of two men in his Mural’s eyes” and he is working on his story to accompany his Sightings Mural. Furthermore, Fadil’s Mural prominently refers to his Fragments box number, 492, which is play of “April 1992″. Dundas Station in Toronto is devoted to Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Fragments & Sightings – Presented with the support of the Canadian Centre for International Justice, the works are shown in two related installations: Fragments stands as a collective monument dedicated to the estimated 600,000 Torontonians who have been affected by war crimes and other international human rights violations. Personal items belonging to survivors are displayed in a rowed queue formation. Fragments combines both mundane materials and familiar objects in ways that speak to the vulnerability of each of us, and the emotional residue attached to the things we possess. Sightings: Images of survivors’ eyes are mounted on TTC station platforms projecting their testimony onto public landmarks.

The work also speaks to the potential (and real) encounters between survivors and perpetrators which occur frequently within the GTA, including on mass transit vehicles, and conjures the dread of anticipation many survivors experience long after they settle into a new life in Toronto.

Sightings: Images of survivors’ eyes are mounted on TTC station platforms projecting their testimony onto major public landmarks.

Bosniak – Canadians are recent but active members of communities across Canada. In all provinces and territories Bosniak – Canadians are active participants in civic life with keen interest in domestic as well as foreign policy matters. They still seek message of hope and healing, and common sense approach to issues of the day speaks strongly to the experience of many Bosniaks, who not long ago came to Canada shores in search of a new beginning, while leaving behind a homeland, the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina ravaged by aggression and genocide. They need to be represented by someone who understands the issues that matter to them. This is true in the case of every-day struggles which Bosniak Canadians share today with all working families in Canada. After being subjects of war of aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity, Canada has become a new home. Bosniak – Canadians are ready to do their share of civic duty and help make Canada a better place.

In an effort to contribute to Canada’s multicultural society, the Bosniak – Canadian Community actively seeks to educate and share with Canadians the beauty of Bosniak and Bosnian and Herzgovian culture and history. The Bosniak – Canadian Community has organized numerous lectures, panel discussions and other events. In turn, our efforts have been recognized by organizations and dignitaries from both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Canada.

Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada