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Robert Hayden, University of Pittsburgh
The Bridge to Nowhere and the Central Memorial at Žepa, an Island in a Bosnian Land Archipelago

In 2016, the US Embassy in Sarajevo paid $62,000 to reinforce an Ottoman-era bridge in the tiny Bosnian village of Žepa. Because the bridge was the subject of a story by Nobel laureate Ivo Andric, the Embassy said that it was preserving Bosnian heritage and also supporting tourism. The latter claim was dubious, since the village is remote and the road to the bridge is unmarked. This talk discusses the foreign support for the symbol of the bridge, which is of little importance to the local population, while ignoring the memorial that is important to them, as emblematic of foreign involvement in Bosnia during and since the 1992-95 war. 


Robert M. Hayden is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Law and Public & International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh, where he was also Director of the Center for Russian & East European Studies, 1998-2014. 

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