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30 years of First War Cinema Apollo

The "First War Cinema Apollo" exhibition of photographs has been opened at the gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo, while in the basement of the Academy of Performing Arts, screenings of films from the programme "30 Years Since the First War Cinema Apollo" have begun, marking this significant anniversary.

The photo exhibition bears witness to the activities of the Obala Art Center association, focusing on film screenings at the First War Cinema Apollo, which commenced its operation during the war in 1993 in a besieged city.

"I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who was a part of this story, to all those who contributed to sustaining us through culture during that time, not just to survive physically, but to be individuals who lived a dignified life. We could proudly say that even then, we represented a part of the world that was unfortunately distant from us. Those times were marked by numerous exhibitions, concerts, and foreign guests who, with their energy and risk-taking by coming to Sarajevo, brought a fantastic spirit. All of this was documented by Milomir Kovačević Strašni, and thanks to him, a trace of the times we lived in remains, one of which we can be proud," said Mirsad Purivatra, the founder and president of the Obala Art Center, during the exhibition's opening. The photographer behind the images, Milomir Kovačević Strašni, stated that everything in the photographs is a testament, and that life back then would have been different without the work of Obala.

The Sarajevo Film Festival has its roots in various film programs conducted during the siege of Sarajevo from 1992 to 1995 by the Obala Art Center, the organizer of the Sarajevo Film Festival, known as the “First War Cinema Apollo”.

The gallery at the Academy of Fine Arts, constructed by members of Obala in 1994, showcases photographs from the First War Cinema Apollo screenings, as well as images from the 1992-1994 period of the following Obala Gallery exhibitions: "War Traces" by Edin Numankadić in the torn-down Sutjeska cinema, "Apocalypse Now" by Milomir Kovačević Strašni on the Obala Open Stage, "New York-Sarajevo" at Preporod, "Witnesses of Existence," "Sarajevo Portraits" by Annie Leibovitz, "UNPROFOR in the Service of Peace," World Press Photo, and "Consequences" by Sophie Ristelbueber at the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as "Shadows" by Christian Boltanski at the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo.

The exhibition, curated by Lejla Hodžić, was opened as part of the Festival in the Center, while the film program "30 Years Since the First War Cinema Apollo" begun as part of the 29th Sarajevo Film Festival.

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