Dramaturgical Information for HONEY BROWN EYES


 

A History of the Former Yugoslavia

1908:  Bosnia-Herzegovina is annexed to Austria-Hungary.

1920:  After World War I the Versailles Peace Treaty defines a new pattern of state boundaries in the Balkans. Bosnia-Herzegovina becomes a part of the newly-founded Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

1929:  King Alexander I changes the name of the state to Yugoslavia - “Land of the southern Slavs.”  Serbs still dominate the government which gives rise to an anti-Serb movement.

1941:  World War ll brings German troops to the region; they are welcomed by Croatian fascists (Ustasha). Hitler rewards the Croats with a nominally independent puppet state, which also incorporates Bosnia. During a series of overlapping civil wars, widespread atrocities are committed on all sides. Serbs, Jews, gypsies and anti-fascist Croats are killed in concentration camps.

1945:  Bosnia-Herzegovina is liberated following a campaign by partisans under communist Marshal Josip Broz Tito. Socialist Yugoslavia is established with Tito as president. Communists deal with nationalist aspirations by creating a federation of six nominally equal republics - Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Macedonia.

1992:  With the fall of the Soviet Empire, nationalism once again replaces Communism as the dominant force in the Balkans. Croat and Muslim nationalists form a tactical alliance and outvote Serbs at independence referendum. Serb nationalists are incensed as the constitution stipulates all major decisions must be reached through consensus. War breaks out and Serbs quickly assume control over half the republic.  Ethnic cleansing is rampant in the newly proclaimed Serb Republic but also widespread in Muslim and Croat-controlled areas. Bosnian Serbs, under Radovan Karadzic, lay siege to Muslim controlled Sarajevo.

1993:  As war escalates, conflict breaks out between Muslims and Croats, culminating in the destruction of much of Mostar, including its Old Bridge--built by the Ottomans in the 16th century and enduringly a symbol of Bosnia’s cultural diversity.  The conflict becomes increasingly complex; Muslims and Serbs form an alliance against Croats in Herzegovina; rival Muslim forces fight each other in north-west Bosnia; and Croats and Serbs fight against Muslims in central Bosnia. UN safe havens for Bosnian Muslim civilians are created, to include Sarajevo, Gorazde and Srebrenica, but UN peacekeepers’ efforts to contain the situation proves ineffective.

1995:  July  The safe haven of Srebrenica is overrun by Bosnian Serb forces under General Ratko Mladic. Thousands of Bosnian Muslim men and boys are separated from their families and massacred, despite the presence of Dutch UN troops. NATO air strikes against Serb positions help Muslim and Croat forces make big territorial gains, expelling thousands of Serb civilians on the way.

1995:  November  American pressure to end the war eventually leads to the Dayton Agreement which creates two self-governing entities within Bosnia - the Bosnian Serb Republic and the Muslim (Bosniak)-Croat Federation. The settlement’s aims are to bring about the reintegration of Bosnia and to protect human rights, but the agreement is criticized for not reversing the results of ethnic cleansing.

Adapted from the BBC News History File.

 

A Glossary of Terms

 

Balije: A derogatory term for a Bosnian Muslim.

Bosniak: The term preferred after the war for Bosnian Muslims, the majority Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) community.

Bosnian Croats: People of a Roman Catholic background who live in BH.

Bosnian Serbs: People of an Eastern Orthodox background who live in BH.

Chetnik: A member of the WWII Serbian Resistance. Later the term was used to refer to Serbs who took up arms against Bosnian Muslims.

Cevapi: Little meat snacks of beef, lamb and onion.

Croat: Croat and Croatian are used: 1) to refer to people who are Roman Catholic who have lived in BH for generations and are often referred to as Bosnian Croats; and 2) to designate citizens of the Republic of Croatia who crossed into BH to fight during the war.

Djubre: A slang catch-all phrase meaning garbage or crap.

Ekaterina Velinka: A Serbian New Wave band popular in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Ethnic Cleansing: The creation of an ethnically homogenous geographic area through the elimination of unwanted ethnic groups by deportation, forcible displacement, or genocide. Ethnic cleansing also involves attempts to remove physical vestiges of the targeted group in the territory through the destruction and desecration of monuments, cemeteries, and houses of worship.

Gusle: A Serbian folk instrument with one string.

Rape Camps: The Bosnian government described “rape camps” as sites in which Bosniak women were forcibly held and raped by Serbian soldiers. Women faced two possible fates: either to survive repeated rape and torture or be killed outright. A report compiled by the European Community stated that 20,000 women had been raped by Bosnian Serb soldiers as “part of a deliberate pattern of abuse” and “serving a strategic purpose in itself.” War rapes are termed as a form of ethnic cleansing or genocide.

Sarajevo: The capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1991 there were nearly equal Bosniak and Bosnian Serb populations. Besieged in April 1992 by Republika Srpska (RS) forces and paramilitary units and under siege until the Dayton Accords.

Sarma: Stuffed cabbage rolls filles with ground beef, rice and onions.

Svinja: A slang term meaning “pig.”

Tuzla: A city in the northeastern part of Bosnia; the only municipality to retain its multi-partisan government during the conflicts, due to the tenacious efforts of its mayor and inhabitants.

Ustasha: The ultra-nationalist Croatian militias during WWII, who under the Germans were responsible for tyrannical treatment of their neighbors across the Balkans, including running many of the concentration camps in the Ukraine.

Visegrad: A town in RS near the Serbian border. At the time of the war it was majority           Bosniaks. Now, it is almost exclusively Serbian. 

Z’Dravo: Bye now.

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