Cycle of paintings dedicated to Admira and Boško,
a young couple shot in Sarajevo in 1993
on the Vrbanja Bridge, and left there.
For seven days and seven nights Embraced in Death.
Alive forever in the Memory.
I dedicate the cycle “Embraces” to the young Sarajevans Admira and Boško, to their love and to their sad, premature, and incomprehensible departure at the time of the horrible tragedy that hit their city, which abruptly interrupted life and dreams for them and thousands of their fellow citizens.
The shots by the snipers did not allow them to continue their love story, in some other happier place. They will “forever” remain embraced on the Vrbanja Bridge, on the Miljacka River, as a symbol and a reminder of what “darkness” can subdue the human mind.
27 years ago, Sarajevo’s Romeo and Juliet died, an Orthodox Boško Brkić and a Muslim Admira Ismić. Their death serves as an example of nonsense of war destruction ever since in the region. This 25-year-old couple tried to escape from evil and madness that struck their country on 18 May 1993, and they were murdered on the Vrbanja bridge on the Miljacka river.
Young and in love, of different religions, they were preparing for the wedding and escape from the unbearable reality. On that fatal May day in the afternoon hours, with the hope they would escape Sarajevo, they were killed by a sniper and they were left to lie in each other’s arms for days on Sarajevo asphalt, because no one dared to move them from the line of demarcation. Their bodies were lying on the street for seven days. Admira’s father and mother found out that their daughter has been killed only after two days. Photos of dead bodies of Boško and Admira from Sarajevo have travelled the world. Seven days after being killed, the Serbian army dragged their bodies off of the bridge and buried them in Lukavica. When the war was over, in 1996, on the initiative and the wish of Admira’s parents, their remains were transferred to the cemetery Lav in Sarajevo and they were buried together.
No one ever answered for their death, culprits were never found. Boško and Admira’s love was supported and accepted by their families, and friends said that no one could imagine them separated, that they always hung out together and that they were example to everybody else how love should look like. Before the war has started, Boško’s father died, and his mother and brother went to Serbia. He had no one in Sarajevo, besides his high school love Admira. He stayed in Sarajevo because of her while grenades were falling on the city, and people died on every step. Even though they lived kilometres apart, they saw each other every day. A year before the war started in Bosnia and Herzegovina, they decided to leave the city and search for a better life…
They arranged the escaping from the surrounded Sarajevo with a mutual friend and they went for freedom on 18 May 1993. Believing that there is an active ceasefire, they didn’t wait for the night but they went on as soon as 5 o’clock in the afternoon. They only got to the Vrbanja bridge where the first bullet from a sniper hit Boško, and then Admira. Fatally wounded, she crawled to the dead Boško, hugged him and passed away.