“If you really want to listen to something special, you must check out Cincila”, Pierre Courtin, who runs the art gallery Duplex100m2, tells us. It does not come as a surprise that it is someone from the art world that introduces us to this young band from Sarajevo, where two out of three band members study at the Academy of Fine Arts. It is hard to classify Cincila who play regular shows with regular songs – an arty mix of pop, rock and funk -, but also mash up a jam session with action painting. When we meet them at the basement of Skenderija at the gallery Collegium Artisticum they choose to do the latter. “The idea is more like a ritual”, singer and guitarist Vanja Solakovic explains, “we’re getting there and putting our energy out.” For this kind of performance they put brushes on their guitars and paint with their instruments, or like Vanja puts it: “Something similar like a Jackson Pollock, but with music.” When the jam session turns noisy, the abstract painting is created with full body strength. Talking about the political situation in Bosnia, the lack of perspectives etc. gives some idea where Cincila’s raw energy might come from. It takes 15 minutes and the art work is finished.
The cultural and sports center Skenderija was opened by the President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito in 1969 with a premiere of the historical spectacle film “Battle on the Neretva”. The complex was meant to show the grandeur of Yugoslavia hosting major events including ice skating and ice hockey during the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in 1984. At the outbreak of the war in 1992 the Youth House of Skenderija was set under fire and after the war the center slowly went into disrepair. From the year 2000 and onwards Skenderija got reconstructed and is mostly back in service today, hosting an indoor sporting arena, the museum of modern art, an art gallery – where we recorded the live performance with Cincila -, a shopping center, cafés etc. However, the vast complex still radiates an air of decay. If it is not for a big event, Skenderija looks rather deserted. In some corners the floor and the walls are crumbling and the small businesses – ranging from sex shops over tatoo parlors to shops for wedding needs – are not exactly flourishing. That the roof of the ice hall collapsed in 2012 and has not been repaired since, might also be a sign that Skenderija’s best days are long gone.