Siege of Sarajevo remembered

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The final concert of the Wainsgate Chapel season is a provocative and moving work combining new music for live classical accordion, poetry, photography and film commemorating the spirit of the Sarajevans.

The Siege of Sarajevo (Bosnia) was the longest siege in modern warfare. It lasted 1,425 days and 13,952 lost their lives. The piece celebrates the resilience and humour of a city mostly forgotten now by the West.

The title of this brand new performance work is Sklonište and it commemorates the end of the siege. Sklonište means ‘shelter’ and this word, painted on walls throughout Sarajevo, was an extremely common sight during the siege and was intended to direct people to the supposed safety of basements and municipal bunkers during periods of heavy shelling and sniping.

The piece combines new music by Irish composer Ailís Ní Ríain for solo classical accordion performed by Dermot Dunne, a selection of texts from the acclaimed work of poetry Sarajevo Blues by Bosnian poet Semezdin Mehmedinovic combined with Sarajavean testament and aid-worker/photographer Jim Marshall’s photographs and personal experience.

“I think it’s a privilege to be able to programme a work of such quality at Wainsgate,” says concert organiser Dave Nelson.

The concert takes place on October 23 at 6pm. Tickets on the door and on line at cost £10 and £8 with a special £3 rate for under 18s. More information on