The Film

Sarajevolution is a project born in 2011 with the aim of exploring the cultural life of today Sarajevo. The film gives voice to the places of culture and to the people who animate them. The stories of Sarajevo’s libraries, museums, theatres intertwine with those of the inhabitants of the city, reflecting all the contradictions which characterize the social and economic context of the country.

The heart of the film is the story of a building that used to be one of the symbols of the city, the Vijećnica, the majestic building that housed the National and University Library. In 1992, it was hit with heavy artillery and incendiary bombs by Serbian military forces, that severely damaged it and consigned hundreds of thousands of books to the flames.

Sarajevolution captures the images of the recent process of reconstruction of the Vijećnica, left in ruins for more than 20 years, and looks further to explore its surroundings, vital, dynamic, and culturally alive: many people are busy studying, practicing and challenging existing cultural norms, often in original and provocative ways.

What Sarajevolution wishes to carry out is thus neither an excavation nor an autopsy of the cultural landscape of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Instead, it aims to give back to the Vijećnica its originary function, by filling its empty shelves with contents and words taken from the people who inhabit that landscape. By addressing the ‘living library’ constituted by culture lovers, intellectuals, artists and performers, the documentary interrogates and engages critically with various forms of thinking and cultural practices. It does so with curiosity, passion and respect, and in the belief that only by constantly revolving around the axes of culture we can realise the evolution.