Miri Berlin, enchanted by Sarajevo: “Narrow, winding Alleys offer many interesting architectural Details and Beauty…”

March 6, 2015 9:32 AM

Miri Pelzman, also known as Miri Berlin, is a product designer by trade who has gradually transitioned to photography over a relatively short period of time. She has been working as a professional photographer since 2011. She speaks briefly about her amazing photographs and about beauty and inspiration of Sarajevo.

Can you say for the ST how did you decide to visit Sarajevo?

Sarajevo was on my list of places to visit for many years and 2014 seemed to be the perfect time to get to know the city from the point of view of a local rather than that of tourist.

Boris, a journalist in Sarajevo, saw my photography online. We got in touch and talked about my wish to photograph Sarajevo. When he generously offered me to stay in his house, I knew it was a great opportunity to go there and make this work.

After you took pictures of buildings and people of Sarajevo, would you say that Sarajevo changed a lot after the war? What about people, how do you perceive people of Sarajevo?

To answer your first question, I would need a deeper understanding of how Sarajevo was before the war and how the city is physically and socially different today. I spent only two weeks in Sarajevo; I just scratched the surface. To me it felt like a beginning of something special, not a time frame to pass any kind of judgment. All I can say is that I loved the mood of the city, my experience with the people of Sarajevo has been a truly positive one. I am very happy to have the chance of being able to visit Sarajevo again this year.

One photograph especially was interesting for me, the one you took in the old town  of Sarajevo (with two old men and a cemetery on the right side). Which part of Sarajevo you found more appealing, the houses in Ottoman Old Town or the modern buildings from XIX century dating from Austro Hungarian Empire?

Both caught my attention and were interesting to explore.

The old ottoman houses lining up along the steep, narrow, winding alleys offer many interesting architectural details and beauty. The closeness to nature, the stunning views of the mountains overlooking Sarajevo, all this gives these parts of the city a special rural character, which I enjoyed a lot. I was also impressed by the Austro Hungarian buildings and their backyards.

Can you single out one  photograph you took and tell us story behind it?

5. Can you single out one or two photographs you took and tell us story behind itWell, if I had to single out one photograph, then it would be this. The moment I captured it, something extraordinary happened, which still leaves me wondering.

It was a wonderful sunny day, I stood in front of a building complex and looked at the architecture and its surroundings. I saw some people on their balconies, some greeted me waving friendly, while others just seemed to observe my activities.

I gazed at the facade, that you can see in this image, for quite a while thinking about how peacefully the soundscape of Sarajevo is nowadays, and what tragic fates took place at that time, when the people were exposed to constant terror for several years, not so very long ago. The facade speaks volumes.

Out of the blue woman in her sixties walked towards me, came closer and hugged me, patted me encouragingly on the shoulder, and continued walking towards the street.

So you could say that Sarajevo really “touched” me – in every meaning of that word.

For more amazing and breathtaking photographs, one can find on the Miri’s official website here.

by Zejna SY

 

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