Claudia Klara Zini

I'm happy here and would like to stay!

Claudia Klara Zini from Italy has been living here since 2015. She is researching contemporary art in BiH while volunteering at Ars Aevi and Duplex 100 m2 Gallery.

She met a group of BiH artists in 2008 and started visiting our country to explore the arts scene.

- BiH art became more intriguing to me several years later in Verona, where works by Nebojša Šerić Šoba, Damir Nikšić, Mladen Miljanović, Dženat Dreković and Tač.ka were on display at the Imaginarni Paviljon BiH at the ArtVerona Fair.

She then decided to do her doctoral thesis on BiH’s contemporary art scene. She came to Sarajevo in 2015 with a grant from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and lived in Vratnik with her friend, Emina.

- That was one of my loveliest summers, with walks from Vratnik to Žuta Tabija, where I studied Bosnian over morning coffees, then I would go down through the mahalas to Baščaršija.

While Sarajevo reminds her of her hometown Trento, a small town surrounded by mountains, she says that our city is unlike any she has visited.

Peace in my soul

- The first time I heard ezan in Baščaršija, I felt peace in my soul, and when I cross the symbol for Sarajevo – Meeting of Cultures I feel the warm heart of this city which owes its fairy tale-like charm and magic to its oriental heritage. Oriental Istanbul is enormous, but Sarajevo’s mosques and mahalas are more mystical.

She has come to discover the complexities of Sarajevo…through a prayer service at Aškenazi Synagogue (visible from the windows of Duplex 100m2 Gallery), by going with Emina to a packed Christmas mass at St. Anthony’s, by observing the mosque courtyards that are full during Ramadan and while celebrating Bajram and Christmas with friends….

- When you see all of the problems in the world, you realize what a miracle it is that in such a small area people are freely practicing their religion. This must not be taken for granted. I’m happy here and would like to stay and work in the arts.

She enjoys simple pleasures like yoga and hikes around town, coffee at Skakavac and Miris Dunja, wine at Zlatna Ribica and jazz at Pink Houdini.

- I enjoy attending Jazz Fest and visiting the National GallerySvrzo House and the Jewish Museum, watching films at Meeting Point and I practice my Bosnian by attending plays at SARTR and the National Theater and by listening to songs by Indexi, Dubioza Kolektiv, Letu Štuke and sevdalinka music at Sevdah Art House.

Heart of Sarajevo

Claudia says that the best souvenir is a Heart of Sarajevo, a replica of the award given during the SFF which is made by goldsmith Senad Sofić. Friends and family in cold Trento are always glad to receive woolen slippers! 

She loves stuffed peppers and other dolmas at Hadžibajrić, ćevapi at Hodžić, baklava at Baklava Shop and tufahija at Ramis.

- It’s not that I do not see all the real problems, but here I also see so much beauty that it diminishes everything else.