5. December 2014

Rock 4 Bosnia – A Journey to the Una River

Six men, two cars, an extraordinary destination. The journey of the donation transport from Dresden to Bosanska Otoka organised by Kultur Aktiv e.V. began on a sunny September evening 2014. The day before the transporter of Schulz Aktiv Reisen had been loaded up with a diversity of goods destined to be brought to “Kamp Kolonija” in Bosanska Otoka east of the Bosnian town of Bihać. But how did it happen that some people from Dresden take a transporter full of donations to a Bosnian jerkwater town?

The river Una and the riverbank of Kamp Kolonija, (Picture) Samir Halilovic

In Autumn 2013 five musicians of three bands from Dresden decided to hold a charity concert for the “Democratic Centre of New Hope” (DCNN, Demokratski Centar Nove Nade) in Bosanska Otoka and the “Kamp Kolonija” run by this organisation. Wieland Köbsch, guitarist of the band Los Barricos, had discovered the camp and the organisation coincidentally when he was on a family vacation in 2012 and was so inspired by the unconventional nature of the DCNN project coordinator Samir Halilović and the beauty of the landscape along the Una river that he met there with Stefan Herrmann of the band “Die Ukrainiens” one year later. The spark ignited and the idea was born to support the organisation’s work. But what is this DCNN actually? It was founded in 1997, two years after the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and since then has it has been active as a non-governmental organisation mainly occupied with youth work for a stabilisation of the civil society, democratic development, peace pedagogy, fighting of corruption, and protection of the environment. The organisation’s work mainly takes place at workshops and summer camps on the DCNN project coordinator’s compound at the Una River, the “Kamp Kolonija”. However, in the years following the war also a lot of work in the reconstruction of infrastructure (bridges, youth clubs, churches, sports grounds, etc.) was done by the organisation.

To the active musicians the idea of organising a charity show with their bands suggested itself. Together with Wilhelmine Schwab of the band “Baran Butz” as well as Martina Stoye and Tina Lorenz of “Die Ukrainiens” they met regularly starting from October 2013 to plan the concert in May 2014. The show’s earnings should be used to buy kayaks and canoes that then would be used for the youth camps that take place at “Kamp Kolonija”. The concert on May 17 in the Club Puschkin was significantly supported by Kultur Aktiv e.V., financial support was also provided by funds of the members of parliament of the party Bündnis90/Die Grünen Monika Lazar and Johannes Lichdi.

Baran Butz Los Barricos
UkrainiensPercy Kleinschmidt

The bands Percy Kleimschmidt, Baran Butz, Die Ukrainiens, and Los Barricos enthused the more than 180 guests, the atmosphere was brilliant, and the people danced a lot. From a tombola CDs of the bands as well as the main price of accompanying the musicians to Bosnia and Herzegovina were drawn. At the presentation of the project it could not be avoided to show pictures of the devastating and at that time highly topical flood disaster in the Balkans, that also had not spared “Kamp Kolonija”. Additionally, the organisers informed the guests on two display stands on the organisation DCNN, the project, and the current flood. After the concert one questions concerned everyone: Could and should the earned money really be used to buy boats while large areas of Bosnia and Serbia struggle with the damages caused by the flood, and their reparation? After some discussions everyone agreed that especially in light of Dresden’s very own experience of flood disasters this measure would be cynical. Without hesitation they decided to transfer the money to the DCNN as an immediate emergency relief. The reconditioning of the camp’s ground was of top priority as international youth camps were planned were scheduled to begin in June. Still the organisation team decided to undertake the journey to Bosnia in September, which was initially planned as a boat tour, now as a kind of aid transport. For this purpose the travel organisation Schulz Aktiv Reisen provided a small transporter and donations in kind were collected for “Kamp Kolonija”. Additionally, some financial donations made the purchase of a canoe and some instruments possible. The journey could begin.

What could we expect from Bosnia and Herzegovina? Since the peace agreement of Dayton in 1995 the country consists of two constituent states, the so called entities Federation BiH (Muslim-Croatian) and Republika Srpska (Serbian). The Federation is again divided into ten cantons, while there is also a self-governing administrative unit, the Brčko-District in the Northeast of Bosnia. Our destination is in the Una-Sana canton in the Northwest of the country. Over 90% of the canton’s inhabitants are Bosniaks, what the Muslim South Slavs formerly named ethnic Muslims call themselves since the 1990s, while the term Bosnians describes all citizens of the state irrespective of nationality or regional background. Bosnia and Herzegovina has 3.8 million inhabitants and an official unemployment rate of 28% and a youth unemployment rate of over 40%. Especially that is why the work of the DCNN in the rural Bosanska Otoka seemed so deserving of support, because it offers a positive perspective and many alternatives to the local youth.

We were a motley crew: Frank and Jakob Schulz of Schulz Aktiv Reisen, that served as travel sponsors and wanted to explore a region unknown to them, Markus Borosch as a social worker of JUCO Soziale Arbeit GmbH, Manuel Haag as winner of the Tombola, and Stefan Hermann and me as accompanying organisation team members.

Frank had already started earlier with the transporter. After a night drive we met just before the Croatian-Bosnian border. At the border Samir already waited for us to help us with the import. However, our hopes to minimise the stress with customs were failed. The associated dispatch department let us know that the procedure would take a little longer, the paperwork would take two hours to be done and after that the donations would have to be screened. We had no choice but leaving the transporter at the border for the moment to then drive to Bihać which is only 15 km away. There we had breakfast in the sun – sitting at the Una River we enjoyed Čevapi and the first Bosnian Kava out of the traditional Turkish coffeepot, the Džezva. At this opportunity we also took a look at the Klokot River west of Bihać which has a special source as it starts as a river from the very beginning – a turquoise-green wonder directly out of the rock!

The source of the Klokot, Frank SchulzBosanska Kava and Džezva, Manuel Haag

Afterwards, Samir, Frank, and I had to get back to the border where we were welcomed gruffly with a harsh “Problem!” as the DCNN was not registered as a humanitarian organisation and was not allowed to accept donations. Soon the look in the eyes of the clerk Elvira – apparently a powerful person in the office – brightened, however, and we were told that the screening of the donations was not necessary, but we would have to pay a service fee of 140 convertible marks – ca. 65 Euro. We paid the fee, were handed a piles of paper, and soon we were relieved to had overcome this neuralgic point of the journey as the preparations for the entry into the country were our most important concern in the weeks before the trip.

The Camp, Samir Halilović

From Bihać we headed to Bosanska Krupa and passed through the Una Canyon that always appears especially impressive when the weather is good. In the early afternoon we reached the “Kamp Kolonija” in Bosanska Otoka. We unloaded the donations and put them in the camp’s depot. All in all, the transport consisted of following things: a canoe, numerous tents, sleeping bags, and other outdoor equipment, three bicycles, musical instruments like two guitars, a cajon, and a bongo drum, as well as household articles, pieces of sports equipment, and much more.

Arrived, Frank SchulzSamir in his office, Slogan on the poster: "Shake the state! When the young vote.", Frank Schulz

Unloading the donations, Frank SchulzFirst bike check, Jakob Schulz

During the following days we visited some of the attractions of the region. First, we visited the Una National Park which was 70 km away and ranges along the river south of Bihać. Marvellous waterfalls in Štrbački Buk and Martin Brod were as delightful to Central European eyes as the nearby Plitvice lakes on the Croatian side of the border. We met the deputy director of the national park and discussed the visions of the conservationists especially with regard to hiking, mountain biking, and rafting tours. The plan is to have a continuous development of the area taking into account the cultural and historical legacy of the region such as old routes and the numerous old castles along the centuries-old Ottoman-Habsburg border. The interesting impressions were completed by the culinary delicacies of the region – trouts out of the Una or the confluent Unac River, that flows in to the Una in the village Martin Brod.

Martin Brod, Frank SchulzStrbacki Buk, Frank Schulz

On the next day we visited the river Krušnica, that like the Klokot River featured the magnificent natural spectacle of starting as a river directly from the source. There besides olms – in Bosnian called “little human fish” (Čovječja ribica) – you can find a diversity of unusual crustaceans, that attach great ecological significance to the river and its source.

Krušnica Meander, Frank Schulz

As a finale of the day we drove – as long as Samir’s Škoda Fabia was able to make its way up the steep forest track – and hiked up the the Velika Gomila mountain; from the peak of it we had an amazing view of the surrounding landscape and especially the Una canyon. Only the stray dogs living in the wild and on waste dumps were a negative experience; like highwaymen they jumped out of the copse and followed us for quite a long time.

Splendid view from Vel. Gomila to the Una Canyon, Frank Schulz

Landscape south of Bihać , Manuel HaagSavage highwaymen, Stefan Herrmann

In addition to the nature we were also able to tour some of the cultural sights. The town of Bihać is fascinating especially because of its picturesque location at the Una River, while Bosanska Krupa impresses with a medieval castle, many stream islands and stilt houses connected by old wooden bridges, on which you can find many cafés and restaurants. Of the numerous castles along the former Ottoman-Habsburg military border we were only able to visit far too few, but most promise highly interesting historical insights from the outside. Particularly worth highlighting is the fortress Ostrožac located between Bihać and Bosanska Krupa.

Wooden bridge in Bosanska Krupa, Frank Schulz The Castle of Bosanska Krupa, Frank Schulz
Bosanska Krupa, Frank Schulz

Apart from all these wonderful impressions we were also able to do something extraordinary at the camp every day: Having a bath in the Una River, which was a lot of fun on sunny days in spite of the cold water; especially when armed with life jackets we threw ourselves into the water race. On the last day we made a 3 km mini rafting tour from Bosanska Otoka to the camp; a wonderful experience as rapids and calmer relaxing sections of the river alternated. On the evenings we usually wound down with Čevapi, trout, and chub, and the beers and brandies of the region. We then also used the musical instruments we had brought with us like guitars, cajon, and drums. In particular, the home-distilled Šljivovica caused a frolic atmosphere on the evenings at the camp fire and the grill.

Action bathing, Frank SchulzAction bathing, Frank Schulz

Mini Rafting, Samir Halilović

Bosnian dinner in the Camp, Frank SchulzBosanska Muzika, Frank Schulz

As the charity concert in May being the first part of the Rock4Bosnia project had been a success the follow-up action came to be a felicitous and reasonable contribution – also for a new perception of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Germany. All donations will be used during the next youth summer camps and workshops. The initial goal of the Rock4Bosnia project to buy boats was reached as we brought one canoe in very good condition with us. The financial aid in early summer saved the year’s program of the democratic centre. As a practical consequence of our visit an exchange between JUCO and DCNN is contemplated. Already for 2015 a Una summer camp for German youths that are cared for by JUCO is planned; hopefully an exchange will evolve from that. With the inclusion of the camp into the catalogue of Schulz Aktiv Reisen the democratic centre’s financing could be supported through tourist activities. Even if this should not be the case tourist offers like this put Bosnia and Herzegovina as a travel destination more into focus. This could also lead to Bosnians starting to shift their view on their country as an isolated, corrupt, and poor European state or at least to activating synergies in this direction. The image of many Germans of a still widely mined country with few scenic attractions could also increasingly change. For the guests of our concert in Dresden in May the perception of Bosnia and Herzegovina has already changed and possibly the travel pub night on January 23 2015 about Bosnia and Herzegovina and our project will continue this development.

Wieland Köbsch

Early morning in the camp, Frank Schulz

 Farewell, Stefan Herrmann


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Sub Rosa Dictum – Grunge from Belarus
Radio Svaboda – Minsk Belarus
Minskmania – Punkrock from Belarus
Gurzuf – Finest Rock Duo from Belarus
Gurzuf “Non – existent Movie” finest Rock Music from Belarus
Audio

Elmughani Maalim Shaban – Unguja, Pt. 1
Audio

NEW DEAL – Demo – Metal from Poland – Demo Tape
Radio nEUROPA Broadcast Focus Poland
Audio

Brahim Fribgane: Live at WFMU’s Transpacific Sound Paradise, 6/6/2009
Audio

Chie Mukai: Live on WFMU’s Miniature Minotaurs with Kurt Gottschalk 12/1/10
Audio

Namgar – Live on WFMU’s Transpacific Sound Paradise 1/9/2010
Audio

Alash Ensemble: Live at WFMU on Irene Trudel’s Show on November 14, 2011 + Live on WFMU’s Transpacific Sound Paradise on 7/24/09
Huun Huur Tu from Tuva Republic – Live on WFMU’s Transpacific Sound Paradise, Jan 22, 2011
Audio

Ma Ei Moe – “Thai Rhyme With Sound” – Myanmar
Audio

keji al feju: the house of wah sun wah
Audio

Marina Zwetajewa (1893-1941) – Poem spoken by Ilja Ehrenburg
Poem, Voice by Boris Pasternak (1890-1960)
“The Muse”, 1924 Poem spoken by Anna Achmatowa
Gypsy Girl – spoken by Ossip Mandelstam
Asia Woman On The Telephone – IVAN (euro edition)
Asian Women On The Telephone – SPA
Audio

Azevedo Silva: Clarabóia
Audio

Ofir Klemperer: hey you, come here
Audio

Felipe V. Rivera y su Orquesta Típica Boliviana, with Maria F. Sivila and Faustino J. Ventura – Caminito a Yavi
Audio

dmyra: Sophisticated Women of Danger
Audio

Abdel Latif El-Banna – Alfouad Min Yom Chafek, Pts 1 & 2 Egypt rec. 1925
Audio

Mm Le Guennec et Le Bouc – The Breton bagpipe rec. 1927
Audio

r.y.f.: some years ago but now – Francesca Morello Soloproject
Audio

Walt Thisney: Commodify Your Dissent + Walt Thisney: Mpire of Desire
Audio

Vysehrad: No Signal 3:50
Stealing Orchestra: and Rafael Dionísio – Uma Desgraça Nunca Vem Só
G.G. Allin’s Dick – Grandes Éxitos – Portugal – Independent Music
G.G. Allin’s Dick: King of the Road – Portugal – Independent Music
G.G. Allin’s Dick – Groovy Tunes for Old Ladies – Portugal Independent Music
Audio

Dziga Vertov – Soundtrack – Excerpt 10 rec. 1930
Dziga Vertov – Soundtrack – Excerpt 9 rec. 1930
Dziga Vertov – Soundtrack – Excerpt 8 rec. 1930
Dziga Vertov – Soundtrack – Excerpt 7 rec. 1930
Dziga Vertov – Soundtrack – Excerpt 6 rec. 1930
Dziga Vertov – Soundtrack – Excerpt 5 rec. 1930
Dziga Vertov – Soundtrack – Excerpt 4 rec. 1930
Dziga Vertov – Soundtrack – Excerpt 3 rec. 1930
Dziga Vertov – Soundtrack – Excerpt 2 rec. 1930
Dziga Vertov – Soundtrack – Excerpt 1 rec. 1930
Audio

Rozsa: Live at the 2013 Golden Festival
Audio

Gendér Wajang of Kuta – Pemungkah – Bali Gamelan Music rec. 1928
Audio

Rapioen – Tandjoeng Sani Western Sumatra Trad. rec. 1939
Audio

Jianhong He – Chinese Opera
Audio

Akech Oyoshi with Odongo Elly – Oyoshi Kitegi Timne
Audio

Xin Tian Cai Ban – Zhan Wei Hu, Pt. 1
Audio

Melissa Laveaux: Live on WFMU’s 100% Whatever with Mary Wing – December 12, 2013
Audio

Janne Nummela: Movements
Audio

adriano orrù: palimpsest
Audio

The New Mystikal Troubadours: LA Rock
Audio

DADALU – Daniela Dadalu
Audio

Angus C. MacLeod – Puirt-A-Beul – Scotland
Audio

James Morrison – The Lark In The Morning The Wandering Minstrel
Audio

Jari Pitkänen: Sirin – Ambient Finland
Audio

Koliadnyky of Kryvorivnia – Live on Airborne Event with Dan Bodah 12/24/12
Huzul’s Folk Music by Mikolja Iljuk Slivschukiv
Audio

čopor – Rastanak
Audio

Hayvanlar Alemi – Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara
Audio

The Freak Fandango Orchestra: Wild Goats and Useless Heroes
Audio

Pietnastka – Dalia
Franciszek Dukla Wiejska Banda – Nikto to nam niemo ze
Audio

Konsumprodukt: Rumbero elegante
Audio

Émilie Simon: Live on WFMU’s Dark Night of the Soul with Julie – June 19, 2014 from Free Music Archive
Opéra Mort: Le Tour de L’Oubli – France/Paris
Audio

Hogan Grip: Hogan Grip – Stance Gives You Balance Galway/Ireland
Audio

Hamida Rokhshana – Washlidah – Afghan – Rubab rec. 1959 by Melodia CCCP
Audio

Perkalabski Pridatki – Weselix Swjat
EDA – Icedrift Ukrainian PsyDub from Ivano Frankivsk
Perkalabski Pridatki – MAYscheNAschiwo – – Independent Cross Over Ivano-Frankivsk Ukraine
Radio nEUROPA – Special Talk with Nick Dzychka Ukraine
Audio

Ajdin Asllan – Valle Devollice rec. 1930? an Albanian Master in NYC
Mahanojaus Lietuviška Mainerių Orkestra – Storo Yono – a polka by a lithuanian band rec. 1928
Įdainavo Karalienes Aniolu Parapijos Choras from Brooklyn – Loja Šunes Ant Kiemo – Lithuania Folk song rec. 1917
A. Kevorkian – Gigo rec. 1929 trad. Armenian Music
Pawel Humeniok – an ukrainian master fiddler – traditional recording in US Ukrainska Orchestra Pawla Humeniuka – Kozak-Trepak
Samuel Pilip, John Karliak, i ich Lemkiwska Orchestra – Lemkiwsky Sztayer, Taneć – Music of the UkrainianLemken
Audio

Anas Shoqar – Abkhaz Music
Audio

Tenghri – Azerbaijan Rock – Qafqaz and Naked Fishermann and Wrong Past
Sirr – Ömür ( Azerbaijan rock)
Madagascar Flashmob by DJ AKG Azerbaijan, Baku
Islam Yusufov – Song about Stalin
Radio nEUROPA Broadcast Focus Azerbaijan
Audio

Carl-Eric Berndt and Richard Isacson – Svingedans; Polska – Sweden
Audio

Signe Flatin – Skuldalsbruri – West Norway – Hardanger Fiddle – rec. 1934
Audio

Rezagholi Mirza Zelli and Moshir Homayoon – Hesar Mokhalef – classical radif rec. 1933
Audio

Set Badria Anwar – Rah Wilfy – Iraq trad. song rec. 1928
Abdul-Wahad Ahmad – Qoyrat (Beshiri)
Audio

Kunai-sho gakubu – Koromogo-e – Japanese Gakaku trad. court of music rec. 1929
Shimizu Itoko – Yasugi Bushi – Japan rec. 1922
Audio

The Yiwangjik A-Ak Society of Chosun – Ritual Music Botaepyeong (Orchestral) Heemun Korea
Audio

Unknown Laotian Group – Lao-tenh
Audio

Phuoc Cuong and unknown – Khoc Huang Thien – Vietnam – rec. 1928
unknown singer – Tân-Thình – Chung-Vô-Diệm, Pts. 1 and 2 Vietnam rec. 1930
Audio

Tamburacı Osman Pehlivan – Anadolu Kaşık Havası – turkish anatolian tanbur music rec. 1928
Emin Efendi – Hale Makame – Turkish Zurna Music rec. 1930
Audio

Kemanî Amâ Recep – Çiftetelli Taksim – the blind master fiddler rec. 1939
Shekar Hanim – Tchakidji – Turkish Song rec. 1910
Levon Hampartzoumian – Armenian patriotic, revolutionary song.
Audio

Chahadé Saadé (oud player)– Samaii Hijaz Kar Kurdi – Lebanon rec. 1926
Audio

Eustratios Kalogeridis – Kondylies Anamiktes me Askomadoura trad. Cretan Roots Music
Audio

Gergana Tsekova – Kako Todoike, Todoike – bulgarian trad. folk song
Karlo Ensemble – Lukovitsko Horo trad. bulgarian Roma Brass Music
Audio

Mohamed Effendi El-Achek from Damaskus – Bouchraka Ya Kalbi rec. 1908 in Beirut
Audio

Ba Stakhanov (Tajikistan) by Rena Galibova
Audio

Pachač a Juskanič Slovenská Orkestra – Žnivarský Čardáš, Čast 1
Audio

Pono de me lypasai – rec.1937, Kostas Skarvelis gtr., Jiorgos Kavouras vcl., Spyros Peristeris bzk
Audio

Kostas Gadini – Aebali Clarinet Master from West Macedonia Greece
Audio

Parush Parushev – Nazko – trad. bulgarian street music with harmonium from Plowdiw rec. 1929
Audio

Sgrehua Mahmudi – Z. Kjuj Pora Fieri – Trad. Albanian Tosk Music rec. 1928
Audio

Zhusupbek Elebekov – Adaskak – Traditional Kazakh Folk Singer and Dombra Player
Audio

Super Onze S6 Takamba Gao AFCP
Audio

Komiljon Otaniyozov and I. Abdullaev – Yashi – Uzbekistan
Audio

SNAILS – NU-MI PASA Fresh Rock from Moldowa
Audio

Radio nEUROPA Broadcast Focus Nagorny Karabakh
Audio

Radio nEUROPA Broadcast Focus Ukraine
Audio

Radio nEUROPA – Special Talk with Lena Kruglova from Simferopol Crimea
Audio

Radio nEUROPA Broadcast Focus Russia
Photo

Transkaukazja 2014 – in Gallery 379
Photo

Yuri Mechitov Discovery of the Orange Dwarfs in Dresden
Gallery Neue Osten – “MACEDONIAN PHOTO CLUB” 2013
Galerie NEUE OSTEN – “MELTING POT Berlin/Minsk/Moskau” 2013
Gallery Neue Osten – EXPECTATIONS – Pictures from the land of Hutsuls
Gallery Neue Osten – Georgien 2012 – The sum of the separate parts
Ghosts-history is always now
Photo

Ibiza, Cap del Falco: Floatsam Plastic World by Holger Wendland
Photo

1. LAUSKE ARTFESTIVAL 2013: photos
Photo

Gallery Neue Osten – Azerbaijan 2013
Gallery Neue Osten 2012 – Movements
Gallery Neue Osten 2011 Belarus – Belaplus
Gallery Neue Osten 2011 – Transit
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