Behind the Kentucky Museum at my alma mater, Western Kentucky University, hides an art piece by Visoko’s trio HAD collective artists: Muhamed Bešlagić- Hamo, Anel Lepić, Damir Sarač. Virginia walked out from the cabin where we met so many times trying to organize things for the exhibit that would become part of the International Year of Bosnia. On cabin’s window, Bosnian flag peaks. Then I realized I wasn’t in Bosnia, but in Kentucky walking over to see the artwork by amazing artists who use hammers, chisels, drills, and found paint, to transform abandoned buildings into powerfully moving sites for remembrance. I met them with my former professor Mr. Kenney when we visited the old VISPAK building where most of their artwork lives. They were patient enough to spent a whole day with us as we photographed them. Soon, Yvonee Petkus and WKU hosted the artists in Bowling Green, and today I was astonished with the two pieces of art they created.
But before coming here, I visited Spencer’s coffee shop where Mr. Kenney’s work hangs from the summer 2017. And I remember how every one of his pictures was created. It was an amazing body of work, and I was so happy to make it to Bowling Green to see it. This is the image from Visoko where Mr. Kenney captured HAD’s artwork dedicated to Srebrenica.I actually went twice to see the show in Spencer’s. This is the first show I went to at WKU and Gina took me to see it. This is where Mr. Kenney spoke about my Skola fotografije.
This image is of Father Joso in the smallest chapel in Srebrenica. Two of these images are in Medjugorje, and the portrait is from Srebrenica. And I am preparing a new post about the time I spent with Mr. Kenney around Bosnia. Then, I walked inside the Kentucky Museum to see Brent Bjorkman and the exhibit “A Culture Carried: Bosnians in Bowling Green”. The planning for this happened at the cabin, and then I left, but today I was so happy to see the show that over the year people were sending images of.
At the entrance are the shoes I brought from Bosnia, and to the left is my war story about my Backstreet Boys experience. I never thought the notebook I made about them during the Bosnian war would end up at the museum, but you know what, I love that it did. They were the brightest part of my childhood. Also, it was their 20th anniversary the other day, and I commented on their photo. Yesterday, Nick Carter liked the comment. 😛
🙂My audio story
This image with a view of a mosque and churches in Sarajevo is when Mr. Kenney and I flew the drone over the city. Then the drone ended up on the minaret. We got it, and I just can’t tell which one of the memories with Mr. Kenney is more memorable.
This is Brent Björkman, the Director of the Kentucky Museum and the Kentucky Folklife Program. Brent was in Bosnia in the summer of 2017 with Mr. Kenney and other seven faculty members from WKU.
Please visit the museum, even the squirrel did, and check out the website:
After the museum, I walked into my photojournalism department at Mass Media only to see the show “Bosnia-Herzegovina: Then and Now” on its last day. I arrived about the same time when Mr. Kenney did and we reunited after a year. Then Mr. B, who organized this exhibition, joked that they waited for me. After I left the building, they really took off the show. But in this exhibition is work by Lara Ciarabellini, Amel Emric, Matt Lutton, Jose R. Lopez, Roger Richards, Andy Spyra, and I. Jose, Roger and Amel were the brave photojournalists who documented Bosnian war in the 90s. Us kiddos documented the aftermath, the mass graves, the daily life, faces of the community, and best part is, I worked with these people and I was so lucky our paths crossed. I was the happiest today that our work was exhibited together.
Mr. B and Mr. Kenney, thank you for making this happen. This is one of my images of my grandma and her neighbor.
I left with a fulfilled heart and soul. I was so proud to be here, and to have had these people as my teachers, today as friends and some of the best people I know. When I think about it, to be so honored, loved, appreciated, encouraged and supported by all those who decided to give us time and space to represent Bosnia&Herzegovina, is the most uplifting thing someone could have done! And this is not even the end, this is just the beginning. Mr. Kenney is always looking for ways to support my Skola fotografije, and how could I not be happy?
Thank you. Thank WKUPJ, WKU, Office of International Programs,International Year of Bosnia, the community, family, friends and everyone who took a part in this. <3