Central Europe Activ

I was traveling in Eastern Croatia in 2002 when a the post-war rebuilding was very well under way. I remember the young children of the war who always preferred to play on concrete because green meant death for them. And I remember forests with mines that have not seen mankind or any greater animal for a decade because of the landmines. This year I would like to find out what happened with those kids who are becoming grown-ups these days and what happened with the forest without us.

Approximately 2 million landmines were laid in Croatia between 1991-1995 and the same amount on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina with a year’s delay. Landmines were cheap alternatives of defense forces on the strategically least important parts of the front of the war and easily left behind when the war was over. A lot of documentation of their position was lost, if ever made, and the landmines were sometimes washed away a found new places.

A lot of effort has been put into clearing the landmines, but all deadlines have been missed. The former Yugoslavia will be mine-free by 2009, 2019 or not even by 2049? How can we live together with the mines? How can the animals live with the mines? How can the trees live with the mines?

You can follow my private quest on my new blog, No Man’s Land where I try to research and share what I find out on the minefields that are left behind after the Balkans wars of the 1990s. This is a separate project from Central Europe Activ, but I will post time to time about my findings here, too.

Images taken from the trailer of Claudia Tosi’s Private Fragments for Bosnia.

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