"And Still We Rise": Uncovering the Story of the Bosnian Genocide

November 5th, 2021 · 38 mins 16 secs

About this Episode

Author Jordan Steven Sher, a social worker and former teacher based in California, joins Lera and Cullan to talk about his new historical fiction novel which authentically and carefully explores the grossly overlooked Bosnian Genocide of Muslims and Catholic Croats during the Bosnian War of 1992-95, as carried out by Slobodan Milošević. You can find out more about Jordan's book (entitled And Still We Rise: A Novel About the Genocide in Bosnia) through his website www.jordanstevensher.com.

Based on real-life events, in spring, 1992 in Prijedor, Bosnia, the Kovacevic’s, a Muslim family, is confronted with the harsh reality that they are the targets of a brutal campaign to rid the country of non-Serbs. Neighbors turn on neighbors as the nationalist Serb propaganda leads to the so-called “ethnic cleansing” of communities that destroys families and their homes.

Elvir, and his fifteen-year-old son Amir, are sent to the Omarska concentration camp where torture and death haunt them daily. With a world that turns a blind eye, both suffer physically, psychologically, and spiritually. Yet they must rely upon each other if they are to survive. Hajra, Elvir’s wife, along with their two younger children, Halima and Danis, are imprisoned in another camp called Trnopolje. They, too, must survive the atrocities that visit them including rape and witnessing beatings and murder. Hajra and the children encounter Elvir’s brother, Tarik, who has been transferred to Trnopolje from another camp, only to see him disappear a short time later. As they all have learned too well in the camps, many disappear never to return.

The Kovacevic’s eventually leave the camps and reconnect with Tarik’s wife, Merjem, who is unable to accept the possibility of the loss of her husband. The families’ trajectories lead them to journey together as they face unforeseen obstacles that must be overcome if they are to find true freedom from the trauma that continues to inform their decisions. As refugees, they move to Germany and then to America seeking to rediscover meaning in their lives after surviving genocide, grieving their losses, and to place roots in their new home.

For more information on Balkan Mama Therapy, as mentioned by Jordan Steven Sher in this episode, please visit: https://www.selmabacevac.com/.

PRODUCER'S NOTE: This episode was recorded on July 29th, 2021 via Zoom.

Co-Producer: Lera Toropin (@earlportion)
Co-Producer: Cullan Bendig (@cullanwithana)
Assistant Producer: Zach Johnson
Assistant Producer: Sergio Glajar
Assistant Producer: Misha Simanovskyy
Assistant Producer/Administrator: Kathryn Yegorov-Crate
Executive Assistant: Katherine Birch
Recording, Editing, and Sound Design: Michelle Daniel

Music Producer: Charlie Harper (Connect: facebook.com/charlie.harper.1485 @charlieharpermusic) www.charlieharpermusic.com (Main Theme by Charlie Harper and additional background music by Charlie Harper and Michelle Daniel, Kai Engel, and Ketsa)

Executive Producer & Creator: Michelle Daniel (Connect: facebook.com/mdanielgeraci @michelledaniel86) www.msdaniel.com

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