Ruined house, 2017
To call Helem Nejse a Hip Hop crew would be too simple. The Sarajevo-based collective is not only doing music, they also host a weekly two-hour talk radio show (with guests and live call-ins) and created a theater show called “Sarajevo Days of Terrorism”. The output of the group around rappers Admir Cular and Amer Cankovic is impressive, to say the least, both in terms of quantity and quality. The two twentysomethings challenge common perceptions of everyday life in Bosnia and the memories of the war in the 1990s, often with a humourous approach. For our portrait we meet Admir and Amer just before their radio show, join them into the studio and watch them perform live in an abandoned retirement home in outer Sarajevo.
25 years after the outbreak of war in Sarajevo traces of this human tragedy can be found all over the city. Even in the very center there are houses with bullet holes in it. The building complex where we filmed the live session with Helem Nejse is especially damaged and run down. It is situated along Meša Selimovic Boulevard, which – together with Smaja od Bosne Street – is one of the main boulevards in Sarajevo connecting the industrial part with the old town. Because of its many high-rise buildings lined with sniper’s posts during the siege of Sarajevo the informal name for this particularly dangerous territory was “Sniper Alley”. Nowadays homeless people live in this ruin. Among the homeless rumour has it that a Turkish businessman wants to buy the run down complex. Then they will have to look out for another ruined house.