This interactive installation in the form of a buffet was set up as a part of the event “[Boston] Intercultural Mixer: Discover Bosnia” at American Islamic Congress (AIC) in Boston, USA. All attendees were invited to participate. A map of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been sown onto the tablecloth. The food was arranged along the internal political borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is: the border of the Serb Republic and the cantons of the Bosniak-Croat Federation, as they were settled in the Dayton Peace Agreement in 1995. Paradoxically, the American-brokered compromise made for the sake of peace was intended to maintain Bosnian unity, but in practice it also induced an internal political fragmentation of the country. While these internal lines of separation that were created though the genocide and the “ethnic cleansing,” the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement de-facto legalized the artificial division of the Bosnian population along clear-cut ethnic and national categories. As the event partiicpants enjoyed the tasty treats, they were also symbolically “eating away” the borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Visitors originating from Bosnia were invited to stick a toothpick on this tablecloth-map, marking the place that they come from. This interactive engagement of the visitors aimed to render visible a map of Bosnian diasporic community in the Boston area. This project was photographically documented throughout its different stages during the evening.
Azra Akšamija, Digesting Dayton, 2012
Table cloth, Bosnian beef sausages and dried meet, cherry tomatoes, toothpicks with US flags
Produced for the “[Boston] Intercultural Mixer: Discover Bosnia” at American Islamic Congress (AIC) in Boston, USA / 27 Apr. 2012 / Organized by Edina Škaljiċ. Conceptual contributions: Dietmar Offenhuber.