“We got a few blank stares when we told people we were picking up our 8-month-old studio and moving it to Sarajevo for a month to make a magazine.
“We suspected there were a few reasons for the confusion; magazines seem to be a dying art form, moving a brand new business in the middle of a recession is ludicrous, and Sarajevo? Where is Sarajevo?
“As writers, designers, incessant travelers and lovers of magazines, the in-the-flesh-paper-between-my-fingers-smell-of-ink-in-my-nose type magazines, we couldn’t think of a better project for our brand new business to take on.
“Boat Studio is a deliberately small creative studio in the heart of London. We work hard for clients we love year-round. But in the slow months, we need a different challenge to tackle. Like, how can we get people to take notice of amazing but forgotten cities around the world, like Sarajevo? How can we help update people’s views of these places when the only information out there is dated and tied to past events?
“Our answer to this quandary is what you’re holding in your hand right now. We pulled together the most talented people we know; writers, photographers, illustrators, musicians… gave them a blank canvas, and set them loose on the streets of Sarajevo.
“We had one goal — to tell a new story.”
“Since the war in the Balkans ended in 1996, the media left and haven’t returned, leaving the images and ideas we have in our heads of Sarajevo dated, war-torn, and depressing. We hope this little publication will inspire you and help you create or update your ideas and images of Sarajevo.
“It’s a beautiful place with big stories to tell.
“We hope we did it justice.”
— ERIN SPENS, EDITOR
Erin Spens: Do you have hope for Sarajevo?
Ziyah Gafic: You know, the locals are very pessimistic about our circumstances, but I’ve traveled quite a lot and when I look at where we are, I think we’re doing okay. 15 years after WWII we were still on food rations. Now 15 years after the recent war we don’t need a visa to travel around Europe, we’ve got internet as fast as anyone else, we have freedom of press which is amazing, we have free education and health care. The locals’ only reference to how we’re doing is how much money they have in their pockets, which is fair enough. But when I compare us to Beirut, Kabul, even London and New York, we’re doing really well for a ‘war torn country’.
Edited by Erin Spens
Designed/art directed by Luke Tonge
Translations by Milica Vuković & Neno Novaković
Printed by Cambrian Printers (a few UK printer recommendations here)
Published biannually by Boat Studio Ltd
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I love insights of life in other parts of the world. This magazine gives just that.