Remy Ourdan, trajno zaljubljen u Sarajevo Remy Ourdan u ratnom Sarajevu
Remy Ourdan, trajno zaljubljen u Sarajevo
23. mart 2012. u 14:15

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Nije teško zaljubiti se u Sarajevo, a Remy Ourdan je jedan od onih koji će vječito gajiti tu ljubav. To je i bio razlog da sa grupom istomišljenika inicirao svojevrsni reunion - okupljanje ratnih reportera u Sarajevu, povodom 20 godina opsade. 

On je ratni reporter pariškog Le Mondea, čija profesionalna karijera započinje 1992. u opkoljenom Sarajevu. Kao 23-godišnji free-lancer došao je u grad i ne sluteći da će u njemu ostati punih 5 godina.

"Nakon oslobođenja Sarajeva želio sam i dalje ostati u regiji jer me zanimalo kako će se situacija razvijati nakon Dejtona", kaže nam ovaj Francuz. Dvadeset godina nakon početka opsade, Remy je bio jedan od glavnih inicijatora okupljanja ratnih reportera koje je planirano za prvu sedmicu aprila 2012. 

U međuvremenu, Remy Ourdan je pokrivao krizna žarišta širom svijeta - Ruandu, Srbiju nakon Miloševićevog pada, Kongo, Eritreju, Siera Leone, Afganistan i Irak. Redovno prati važna suđenja u Hagu ratnim zločinicima iz bivše Jugoslavije u Ruande. Izvještavao je iz ratova u Afganistanu i Iraku, iz Pakistana, pratio Egipatsku revoluciju i građanski rat u Libiji.  Napisao je nekoliko knjiga, a važan detalj u njegovoj karijeri je i vlasništvo caffea '61' u pariškom 19. arondismanu - prostora gdje često organizira izložbe svojih kolega foto-reportera.

Ne radi se ni o kakvoj 'manifestaciji' ili 'eventu' za odabrane, već o spontanom povratku u grad sa ciljem da se ožive uspomene, susretne sa ljudima nakon toliko godina.  

Reunion kao logičan potez

"Ideja da se vratimo postoji već nekoliko godina, ali u septembru 2011. na jednoj foto izložbi nas nekoliko smo odlučili da napravimo knjigu posvećenu ratu u Sarajevu. Četrdeset i pet foto-reportera dalo je svoje fotografije i knjiga je polako dobijala svoje obrise. Producirali smo je sami i ona je naš poklon gradu" govori nam Ourdan. Fotografije iz knjige bit će izložene u hotelu Holiday Inn 6. aprila u sklopu konferencije kao centralnog događaja novinarskog okupljanja.

Zašto je svima njima Sarajevo toliko važno - jedno je od pitanja koje se često postavlja ratnim reporterima iz onog vremena? 

"Meni lično je veoma važno, jer kada imate 23 godine i negdje provedete četiri- pet godina, to mora biti važno. Meni je bilo prirodno da me zanima šta se oko mene dešava i prirodno da dođem u Sarajevo. To je i dio moje životne priče, a ne samo profesionalne. Mnogi reporteri privrženi su Sarajevu na jedan specijalan način - jer tu se vodio jedan suludi rat. On se razlikovao od drugih ratova jer je Sarajevo bilo pod opsadom. Svi mi smo bili u mnogim ratovima, ali biti pod opsadom, preživljavati u opsadi je jedno posebno iskustvo. Jedan od razloga je i taj da smo većina nas bili Evropljani. Mnoge kolege su mi rekle da se u Sarajevu osjećaju kao kod kuće"

Fikseri i ostali lokalci 

Sa Remyjem smo razgovarali i o velikoj ulozi koju je u širenju vijesti iz opkoljenog Sarajeva pripadala 'lokalnoj' podršci stranim novinarima - njihovim asistentima koji se u novinarskom žargonu nazivaju 'fikseri', ali i domaćim novinarima koji su pomagali svojim stranim kolegama.  

"Slično kao i drugi Bosanci koji su radili za međunarodne organizacije, imali su određen značaj za svoju okolinu Svi su oni zarađivali novac i imali pristup izvorima hrane, zahvaljujući čemu su prehranjivali ne samo svoje porodice, već i prijatelje, komšiluk. To je poznata stvar, no kada su u pitanju ljudi koji su radili sa stranim novinarima - fikseri, novinari, fotografi, kamermani, vozači...važno je naglasiti i vepoma bitnu razliku od ostalih. Oni su se izlagali velikom riziku! Za vrijeme bombardiranja normalni ljudi bježali su u podrume ili neki drugi zaklon. Međunarodne organizacije su se sklanjale, UNPROFOR se sklanjao, građani su se sklanjali - ali novinari i njihovi lokalni pomoćnici izlazili su van da bi to snimili. Tu ima razlike između nas i njih, jer mi, stranci, u neku ruku smo u ratu bili 'dobrovoljno', a lokalni ljudi su se tu zatekli ne svojim htijenjem. Kada jedan domaći novinar izađe iz zaklona kako bi snimio bombardovanje - onda je to hrabrost. Novac nije bio presudan motiv u tome. Mnogi od mojih kolega iz BiH radili su to jer su htjeli da priča bude objavljena i da svijet vidi to što se dešava u Sarajevu.  Naravno, vodili smo beskrajne diskusije o činjenici da svijet ne reagira na patnje Sarajlija i  to je bilo veoma razočaravajuće za nas, a mogu misliti koliko tek za njih. To su bili ljudi maksimalno posvećeni principima novinarstva, i što je najvažnije - posvećeni Sarajevu. To je bio njihov način borbe i preživljavanja. 

O specifičnostima medijskog izvještavanja iz Sarajeva razgovarat će se na predstojećem skupu, no mi smo našeg sugovornika  pitali šta misli - da li bi opsada grada izgledala drugačije i kraće trajala da smo kojim slučajem u to vrijeme imali Facebook i Twitter

"Teško je zamisliti... danas na Facebooku možete vidjeti veliki broj dokaza i artefakata tog rata. No činjenica je da je rat u Sarajevu bio izuzetno dobro pokriven od strane medija. U tom smisli se razlikovao od nekih drugih ratova, pa i onog najbližeg na Kosovu, koji je trajao nekoliko mjeseci ali nismo imali dublju sliku o onome što se dešava ljudima. Sa izuzetkom nekoliko enklava, rat u Bosni je stvarno bio dobro pokriven. Svijet je ZNAO šta se dešava svaki dan, no svijet je odlučio da se ne miješa. Uz Facebook i Twitter možda pi pojedinci saznali više detalja, no vjerovatno bi ishod rata bio sličan."    

Čime smo mi to zaslužili?  

Da li su Sarajlije sada, dvadeset godina nakon rata, ostale isti ljudi kao nekada, pitali smo našeg sagovornika. Da li smo uistinu zaslužili svu tu strast i pažnju kojom nas ovih dana obasipate? Ne čini li mu se da smo prokockali svoje šanse koje smo mogli bolje iskoristiti?

"Prijateljstvo i strast prema Sarajevu ne treba posebno objašnjavati. Svi ljudi koje smo susreli pripremajući ovo okupjanje, svi oko Modula memorije, Medijacentra, Fama produkcije, Kriteriona... sve su to srdačni ljudi među kojima smo dobrodošli, žele da nam pomognu, žele da čuju naše uspomene i možda da ih uporede sa svojima. Imam osjećaj da još uvijek postoje jake veze između grada i 'nas', dvadeset godina poslije. Znam da je kod vas situacija teška, ali reći ću vam da je Sarajevo divno. Putovao sam po cijelom svijetu i zaista - Sarajevo je divno."

Zar nemate nikakvih kritka na naš račun - pokušavali smo iščupati odgovor od Remyja Ourdana.

"Naravno da imam zamjerki, ali i dalje grad vidim 99% u pozitivnom svjetlu", zaključio je francuski novinar. 

Remy Ourdan, dvadeset godina poslije; Foto: Almir Panjeta

Razgovala: Vesna Andree Zaimović, radiosarajevo.ba 

NAPOMENA: Građani Sarajeva dobrodošli su da se pridruže novinarima prilikom njihovog obilježavanja dvadesetogodišnjice opsade. O detaljnom višednevnom programu informišite se ovdje.

Kao medijski pokrovitelj, RadioSarajevo će vas i dalje informsati o događaju. Sjećanja stranih novinara, reportera i građana na ratne godine čitajte u našoj tematskoj rubrici 'Opsada Sarajeva'.

ENGLISH

It’s not hard to fall in love for Sarajevo. One of the people who will cherish that love for all time is Remy Ourdan. That love was his main goal in organizing a reuonion with people who share his love: the meeting of war journalists in Sarajevo for the 20 years of the siege. Remy is a war journalist from the Paris newspaper Le Monde. His professional career began in 1992, when he arrived in Sarajevo as a 23 year old freelancer, not knowing he will stay there for five full years. 

"After the liberation of Sarajevo, I wanted to stay in the region because I wanted to see how will things work out after the Dayton agreement", said Remy for Radiosarajevo.ba. 20 years after the Siege, Remy is one of the lead organizers of the meeting of war journalists planned for the first week of april in 2012. It is not a "manifestation" or a "event" for a chosen few, but a spontaneous return to a city with the goal of reliving memories and meeting old friends. 

Reunion as a logical move 

"The idea of our return was there for a few years, but in September of 2011, during a photo exhibition, a few of us decided to make a book about the war in Sarajevo. 45 of photoreporters gave us their photographs and the book slowly began to take shape. We produced it ourselves and it is our gift to the city", said Ourdan. Photographies from the book will be put on display in Holiday Inn on 6th of April as part of the meeting.

Why is Sarajevo so important to everybody – was one of the frequently asked questions for many war journalists of that time?

"For me, personally, it is very important. When you're 23 years old and you spend four or five years somewhere - it is very important. It was natural for me to come to Sarajevo and to care what is happening around me. It is a part of my life story and not just my professional one. Many reporters are attached to Sarajevo on a special kind of way - because there was a insane war raging there. It was different from other wars, because Sarajevo was under siege. Most of us were in wars, but to be under siege and to survive under siege - that was a whole new experience. One of the reasons was that most of us were Europeans. Many of my colleagues told me that they felt at home in Sarajevo". 

Fixers and other local people 

We talked with Remy about the huge role their assistents, who, in journalist jargon are called 'fixers', and local journalists had in reporting the news from the enclosed Sarajevo. 

"It was similar as with other Bosnians who worked for international organizations. They had a certain significance for their environment. They all earned money and had access to food supplies, which they used to feed their families, friends and neighbors. It is a thing well known - but it's worth emphasising. Fixers, journalists, photographers, drivers - they all took great risks! During the bombardments normal people hid in cellars or tried to find other hiding places. International organizations took cover, UNPROFOR took cover, citizens took cover - but journalists and their assistents went outside to film it. That's the difference between us and them. We, foreigners, were, in a way, voluntarily in this war, and local people were involved whether they liked it or not. When a local reporter comes out of his cover to film the bombardment - that's courage. Money wasn't the crucial motive. Many of my colleagues worked in BiH because they wanted to publish the story so the world could see what's happening in Sarajevo. Of course, we had lengthy debates about the fact that world is not reacting to the suffering of the people from Sarajevo. That was very dissapointing for us and I can only imagine how dissapointing it was for them. These were people who were totally devoted to the principles of journalism and, more importantly, to Sarajevo. It was their way of fighting and surviving". 

Remy will talk about the specifics of reporting from Sarajevo on the meeting, but we asked him does he think that the siege would look different or be shorter if we had Facebook and Twitter then

"It's hard to imagine... Today, on Facebook you can see so many evidences and artifacts of the war, but the fact is that war in Sarajevo was extremely well covered by the media. It was different from other wars in that way, including the closest one on Kosovo, which lasted a few months but we never got a deeper picture of what is happening to the people. With the exception of a few enclaves, war in Bosnia was extremely well covered. The world KNEW every day what is happening here, but the world decided to not get involved. With Facebook and Twitter we would have more details, but the outcome of the war would be similar".  

In the meantime, Remy Ourdan covered the crisis points all over the world - Rwanda, Serbia after the fall of Milošević, Congo, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq. He regularly follows important war trials in Hague for the criminals from former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. He did reports from wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, covered the Egyptian revolution and the civil war in Libya. He's an author of several books and owns caffe '61' in the 19th county of Paris - a space where he often exhibits works of his photoreporter colleagues. 

What did we do to earn this?

Have people in Sarajevo changed in these 20 years after the war? Did we really earned all that passion and care you give us these days? Do you get the feeling that we squandered our chances, that we could have used them better?

"Friendship and passion towards Sarajevo doesn't need any more explanations. All the people we met while preparing this meeting, the people from Modul memorije, Mediacentra, Fama productions, Kriterion... Those are all nice people who gave us a warm welcome, who wanted to help us and who wanted to hear our memories and compare them to their own. I have a feeling there are still strong connections between the city and 'us', even 20 years later. I know that the situation is difficult, but Sarajevo is wonderful. I've traveled all over the world and really - Sarajevo is wonderful". 

Don't you have any remarks on our expense - we tried to pull out a answer from Remy Ourdan. 

"Of course I have remarks, but I still see the city in a 99% positive light", concluded the french reporter. 

Interview for Radiosarajevo.ba - Vesna Andree Zaimović. Translation and interpretation - Zdenko Voloder, Radiosarajevo.ba.

REMINDER: Citizens of Sarajevo are welcomed to join the reporters during their commemoration of the Sarajevo siege. More details about the program you can find here

As the media sponsor, RadioSarajevo will keep you further informed about the event. You can read memories of the war years from foreign journalists, reporters and citizens in our theme collumn "Siege of Sarajevo"

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