Travelling Monument: ŠTO TE NEMA

Aida Šehović
© Screenshot


The Bosnian-American artist Aida Šehović has been traveling the world with the moving monument ŠTO TE NEMA for 15 years. It is reminiscent of a genocide in the city of Srebrenica in a emotional and integrative way.

8,373 men and boys were systematically executed in Srebrenica in 1995. This gruesome event during the Yugoslav Wars was officially classified as genocide in 2006. But Serbian and Bosnian-Serb leaders denied, and some to this day deny, that the Srebrenica genocide ever took place. Behavior that still creates ethnic divisions in the region.

The monument ŠTO TE NEMA - translated “Why are you not here?” - is a reaction to rejection and denial and is intended to commemorate the murdered Muslims. After relatives described how much the murdered boys and men were missing at the traditional coffee table with relatives, friends and neighbors, Aida Šehović began collecting traditional porcelain cups. The goal was to have a cup for every victim.

Every July 11th, the cups are in a public square, filled with Bosnian coffee by passers-by and left undrinked. This monument should not only remember the people from Srebrenica, but also mobilize against forces of rejection, exclusion and denial. It aims to encourage people to turn away from previous atrocities and prevent vital memory and healing processes from taking place.

2020 marks the 15th anniversary of the ŠTO TE NEMA project and the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide. In 2020, for the first time, ŠTO TE NEMA was presented in Potočari/Srebrenica, the site of the mass atrocities, where it will remain permanently in its final iteration.

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