Sussane Prahl

Sarajevo is a city of contradictions!

Sussane Prahl is from Germany and is director of Kid's Fest, the region’s largest festival for kids. The motto of the 14th edition (June 4) is C'est la Vie. UNESCO recognizes the event’s quality and this is its third year of providing support.

Born in northern Germany, Sussane studied in Paris and came to Sarajevo in 1994. She started a family here and her first decade was spent working with RTVBiH and Sarajevo Film Festival.

- I empathized with survivors of the Siege and wanted to help provide new events that celebrate peace. In 2004 I decided to start Woodstock for kids, a festival unlike any other, which draws youth from all over BiH and brings them together to meet, hang out and be happy.

Over the past 14 years, the Kid’s Fest concept has been exported and is now hosted in Tunisia, Italy and Bulgaria.

A part of the bigger picture

- Kids teach us how to be part of “the bigger picture,” they make adults feel enthusiastic and help them believe in the future. My aim is to create an image of children smiling and waving to the world from Sarajevo.

She recalls the mentality of Sarajevans when she first arrived, when solidarity and generosity could be felt in the air, but says today’s fast pace is causing people to drift apart.

- I am bothered by the corruption and how people wait for others to solve problems in town. It is appalling how smoking is permitted in most places and no one minds that it bothers non-smokers. When I get home from a cafe, I start undressing before going inside and quickly shower to get rid of the smoky smell.

Out of protest, she adds, she does not visit cafes in winter. Espresso Lab is an exception, as it does not permit smoking and serves the best international coffees. She enjoys the view from S-One Sky Bar, up on the roof of Courtyard by Marriott.

SFF and Vijećnica

Susan is always eager to attend Sarajevo Film Festival, especially at the Metalac Summer Cinema venue and the National Theater and she likes to visit the National Gallery of BiH. She says a damaged section in Vijećnica should have been left as a reminder and symbol of the Siege.

- Sarajevo is a city of contradictions with wonderful nature. In winter I go skiing on Bjelašnica and Jahorina, in summer I enjoy the gardens and often go to Jablanica Lake and the Croatian coast. The nature in this country is like what you see on the big screen, it takes your breath away.

Since she lives in the Old Town, in Kovači, she usually advises friends who visit to take in the view from Žuta Tabija then to head down to Baščaršija, try some Bey’s soup and enjoy exploring Sarajevo.

- Prices here are much lower than in the EU, so I can choose how to treat myself. From shopping at SCC, to getting my hair done, having a manicure, a massage…. She adds that tourists could never be bored in Sarajevo, a city whose residents have a real sense of style.