Teenagers in town

Bosnia Herzegovina
December 2021

We took a group of teenagers for an acccompanied walk through Bihac town. One of the local staff discussed the local history, and the children photographed anything they found striking, beautiful or interesting. They then chose the picture they wanted to exhibit and discuss. This is what they wanted to share with us about the community around them.

Hadise, age 17

When I look at this picture it makes me happy. I think when someone looks at it, he must feel good, because it’s beautiful: because it’s Autumn, because of the water. It reminds me of Afghanistan. In Afghanistan you can find many places like this. I like the leaves. I have been in Bihac three months, it’s a nice city. We have everything in camp: doctor, food. I don’t go to school, but we have classes here. I want to be a dentist in the future because I want to help the community.

Supra, age 14

I like this photo, it’s a Mercedes. I love cars. This car is old and I love old cars because I love classic cars. I just like it. I remember we had a car, but I was nine when we left Iran so I don’t remember what it was. I got interested in cars on Instagram where I saw old and new cars. Of course, we don’t have any car here. When I came to Bosnia, I was on the bus and we could see cars outside, I liked Hondas and BMWs. That’s my favourite car. If I had a car of my own it would be a BMW. I really like cars. When I grow up, I would like to be a mechanic or an engineer.

Shams, age 14

It’s very interesting. Just look at the leaves down there. How did they fall down there? And I put those other leaves there, they were in another spot and I brought them here because I loved how it looked. It’s very strange: there is wood and beneath the wood there is water. People will ask themselves what is that? The space was smaller than you think, but I put my camera into the crack to take the picture. It’s a very nice picture. I am happy that I was able to take it.

Cristiano, age 16

I like this picture because it is very near the river and all the Autumn leaves and trees are there. The leaves on the ground are very beautiful and the cars are moving in the background. The whole area is beautiful. The colour of the bike goes well with the leaves. I ride a bike myself and I used one here, but it broke when I had a fall. They took it for repair, but it’s not back yet and it’s winter so we cannot ride bikes at the moment. The weather is very nice in Autumn, and I love Autumn the most. All the colours are so beautiful and coordinated. In Jordan it’s different. You cannot see Autumn unless you have trees in your house. You cannot see it in the street. Here in Bosnia, it’s different, you see Autumn everywhere and its beautiful.

Afrodita, age14

I chose this because the world cannot survive without water. For example, animals and fish cannot live without water, even the trees need water to live. I chose it because its beautiful, because of the foam. This makes me think of the water cycle, that process of what happens to water in nature is amazing. I heard about that big meeting (COP 26) We heard a lot. If I had been there, I would have said that we need to safeguard our environment, we need to give trees water so that they can grow and we can make the world more beautiful.

Sara, age 16

I chose this because I like butterflies and also, it’s the best picture that I took. I don’t know why I like butterflies; I just do. Yesterday when I saw this, I wanted to capture the place, because the butterfly is beautiful and the nature surrounding the butterfly is so beautiful. It is by the river that goes through town and I really like that area, because it has ducks and it’s full of life. I am from Afghanistan, but I grew up in Iran. We left three years ago. Nature in Iran is beautiful, even more beautiful than Bosnia. We had a lot of parks, each one different, so you could not find one the same as another. Here it is just a small city, so they only have one, but I like it.

Zakarya, age 15

I chose this because I like it. I like the meaning of this place because they told us that two people fought in a war and their dead bodies are here. Yesterday, I saw this place and I liked the whole area, because of the nature surrounding it and everything. I listened to the story that teacher Medin told us. I didn’t understand everything, but the part that I did understand touched me, because in that place they remember all the people who died in that war; it’s a monument to everyone.

Amin, age 17

This is the football ground. I started playing football when I was six years old and I have loved football ever since that time. One day I want to be one of the best football players. I am training with the team that train there: “Jedinstvo” (United) is the name and I like it. It’s the local team. My favourite club is Barcelona and I want to play for Barcelona one day. I’ve been in Bosnia four years and I am the first migrant to go to high school. This is my first year, I began two months ago. The students are good, the teachers are good. They respect me. I speak, English, Farsi, Bosnian and a little German. It’s hard, everything is hard. I couldn’t be in the team until two months ago, but they were always trying to help me and now that I’m playing, I am happy. Whatever happens, we have to be strong, this is life. I didn’t know four months ago that I would be playing in one of the biggest teams in Bosnia. This shows that I will never give up my dreams until I achieve them.

Picture by Fereshte

The camera storytelling workshop in Bihac was made possible through the support of the following:

  • The Service for Foreigners Affairs
  • Borici Temporary Reception Centre
  • IOM Bosnia Herzegovina
  • UNICEF Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Save the Children in North Western Bosnia
  • Red Barnett and the MHPSS Collaborative

Thank you to all the staff, teachers and volunteers who made it possible.

Thank you to all the children for sharing their pictures and stories.

Thanks to Giorgos Anastoulis for editing the photographs and to Creative.BA for printing them.

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