Activity post week 3

We Are All Neighbors focus on a village of Croats and Bosniaks during the Yugoslav civil-war of the early 1990s. This village provides a useful view into how identity in relation to religion and ethnicity can be fluid. Muslims and Catholics lived in the village; however, as time went on, they went from being Bosnians with different religions, to Croats-Catholic and Bosnia-Muslims, they were no longer one people sharing a community.
Initially, during the film, the relationship between religious groups in the village is good and neighborly; there is little focus on religion or what ethnic group one another is a part of. The sharing of community space is the norm.
As the front lines come closer to the village, so do the fissures in the community. Identity becomes more focused on ethno-religious lines and there becomes an air of mistrust between the two groups.
One of the fascinating aspects of watching this was how distant political and military leaders, impact how neighbors feel about one another. The fear created by uncertainty and violence exacerbates the need to separate from the other and create homogenous communities. Nothing in the immediate community sets off this fear and division, it is decisions made from afar and carried out by people not from the immediate area. However, the fear that comes with their presence drives a wedge between the two peoples.
Many feel that this spasm of violence was inevitable as the ‘peaceful coexistence’ during Tito’s regime was simply coerced by state power.
Tone Bringa did a follow up documentary of the families in early 2000s.

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