A needle, some thread, and the industrious hands of Bosnian women…
Following the fall of Srebrenica in 1995, the women of BOSFAM recognized the importance of creating a gathering place for Bosnian women who lost everything during the war. At the time, there were so many unknowns, many of which remain today. Women waited and searched for their missing friends and family members – husbands, sons, brothers, and fathers. The number of missing persons continued to grow – and today we know that the number of lives lost is more than 8,000. Each woman was alone, waiting, hoping, and grieving, but BOSFAM provided a place for many of them to be together.
In 1996, as the first anniversary of the fall of Srebrenica approached the women of BOSFAM wanted to show the world the immensity of the tragedy in Srebrenica.
The women of BOSFAM decided to start a project to make an embroidered cushion for each missing person, including his name, year of birth, and hometown. It was impossible for each woman or family to demonstrate their loss to the world – and so the women of BOSFAM decided to do it together.
“To our dearest who have not come yet – let us write their names again, let us write them in love.”
Thousands of embroidered cushions – with thousands of names – are now a visible sign of the missing persons from Srebrenica. Though many women have received answers about their loved ones, many are still waiting. The cushions from BOSFAM represent our organization’s contribution to the search for the truth about those still missing, the remembrance of those who have been found, the quest for the punishment of all those who committed crimes, and the anger at those who did nothing to prevent such tragedy.
The women from Srebrenica, along with NGO representatives and other members of the community, continue to gather on the 11th of each month in Tuzla to protest the international community’s failure to arrest the leaders who executed this horrific conflict. The cushions from BOSFAM are used by the women as symbols of their loss. We hope that the cushions will one day be brought to the Memorial Center in Potocari. Our ultimate goal is to make sure that Srebrenica will not be repeated anywhere in the world.