nationalityBosnia and Herzegovina
time periodOctober 2016 - October 2016
I was born in Bihać (Yugoslavia, now northwestern Bosnia-Herzegovina) in 1974. I graduated in French literature and language from University of Sarajevo. My published works include the plays Podigni visoko baklju (Raise high your torch, 1996) and Zaista? (Really?, 2001), the collection of prose Kad su narodi nestali (When the peoples disappear, 2003) and the novels O roštilju i raznim smetnjama (Concerning the barbecue and sundry disruptions, 2008) and Čovjek iz podruma (The basement man, 2013). The third novel is to be printed during 2016 by the Sarajevo publishing house Buybook. I have also published my poetry, essays and translations (from the French, and occasionally English and Spanish) in various literary journals, both paper-based and online. I translated Kenizé Mourad's novel Le jardin de Badalpour, Jean Baudrillard's L'esprit du terrorisme, and Emil Cioran's Cahier de Talamanca.
I've already written and published in online and printed media a series of essays dealing with science, literature and culture, artificial intelligence, violence, the Holocaust (Sonderkommando), religion, travel. During my residency in Vienna, I will take the opportunity to finish some essays on subjects like:
- mind and brain problem (with the focus on the writings of Oliver Sacks);
- links between science and literature (Primo Levi would serve as an example);
- secular ideas and universal values vs. cultural, religious and ethnic particularism
I hope my everyday experience during my one-month stay in the cosmopolitan capital of Austria will help me to extend my current knowledge on the topic.
Some Viennese, both native and "naturalized", I had a chat with, described their city as slowed-down, even sleepy and sluggish–the statement I find hard to accept. In my opinion, Vienna is lively but in a mature way. Someone would label it as decadence or weariness. Dropping by out-of-the-way temples of alternative cultural expression in Favoriten or Leopoldstadt turned for me into a trip to another planet. One of the reasons why I was so dazzled is that the artistic avant-garde has always had a bad name in my homeland, suffocated by traditionalism and a conservative worldview.
The essays I had planned to polish off in Vienna should have dealt with the topics which, upon my arrival to the former capital of an empire, started to seem uninteresting and misplaced. I had been willing to tackle, in my writings, the mind-brain relationship and the interweaving of science and literature. However, the vibe of the metropolis as much as the friendships I've made during my stay at MuseumsQuartier shook up my perspective. My literary endeavors turned in an unexpected direction. To wander, to meet people and mix with them, to jot down the pulse and breathing rate of the West, and to bear in mind the Bosnian valleys which appear to get more and more narrow as the winter approaches.