The Siege of Sarajevo: Chronology 1992-1996

Year of Production
1996 – 1997
Location of Production
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Chronology (text)
Original Language
The Siege of Sarajevo 1992-1996: Chronology of the events
Research Period
March 1992 – March 1996
A detailed chronology of 1992-1996 events was developed following daily articles published in local daily Oslobodjenje, and the print and TV media around the world, the UN daily reports, as well as surveys and interviews with citizens of Sarajevo. The objective was to capture, highlight and contextualise the most important events relating to the siege of Sarajevo. Events regarding political, military, diplomatic, economic, cultural, personal, and existential levels were recorded in the context of relevant year/month. Regarding the siege of Sarajevo, this document is considered the most comprehensive chronology of its kind. Its importance is further valued by the fact that it was conducted relatively soon after the siege was lifted – capturing memories while they were still fresh.


Executive Editor
Suada Kapic
Researchers and Editors
Nihad Kresevljakovic, Sead Kresevljakovic
Project Manager
Lejla Pašovic
Jelena Lovric, Maja Razovic, Dzenana Karup, Vildana Selimbegovic
Processing Team
Lejla Hasanbegovic, Sanja Mizic, Marina Banic, Dajana Gurda, Dzenana Samouk
© FAMA International


Because of their influence, those who watch, observe, analyse and explain meaning to the masses are considered a kind of elite; however if this elite use faulty methodology or have impure intentions, it can lead to disastrous consequences. We, the founders of FAMA, the first independent multi-media company in the former Yugoslavia, were fully aware of the sensitivity of the area in which we chose to invest. From the very beginning of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, we knew that documentation, of all types and forms, would play a vital role in the fate of current and future generations. In keeping with our own personal principles, our methods rely on fact, oral history and recorded documentation (documented documents). It is through our unique insight and gift of foresight that we have been able to develop a step by step methodology that 'makes the obvious visible'.

Gaining insight. This involves watching events attentively with an open mind as an observer rather than a participant, in order to note significant elements of the observed phenomenon; then putting these elements together to identify early signs of any emerging dominant trends that might launch a new process of cause and effect.

Continuing research through oral history. Those who participated in an observed event talk about their own experience of it, without commenting on other participants. These elements are recorded in photo/video format.

Structuring the research. Putting first hand facts and documented documents of a particular event, period or phenomenon into a structure that transfers this knowledge in a form acceptable to an audience, devoid of any indicators that would point to a conclusion. Readers, viewers, students, researchers draw their own conclusions on the basis of the given format.

Converting the structure. This phase involves producing a format suitable for mass production (maps, albums, films, encyclopedias).

Creating a study pack. We have created an educational pack consisting of different sections that can be used for different levels of education, as our unique contribution to the interpretation of the period 1991-1999.

The Siege of Sarajevo: Chronology 1992-1996

After the siege of Sarajevo was lifted, it was clear that a new phase begun: the tranfer of experience into knowledge. We started exploring methodologies of articulation of material documented during the siege and the meaningful structuring of facts. Each of the projects created between 1996 and 2010 required a different method of data structuring, and a suitable format for knowledge transfer at different levels of education. We had to start from scratch, and the Chronology of the siege proved to be an invaluable platform for establishing a framework suitable for the whole project (which would be finalized with the establishment of the FAMA Virtual Collection and the Sarajevo Siege Museum).

About the project

In March 1996, after the peaceful reintegration of Sarajevo, we started archiving and documenting the experiences of the siege of Sarajevo during 1992 to 1996. The aim of the project was to establish a chronology of daily events between March 1992 and March 1996.

The main sources used were the news archives (1992-1996) of the local daily Oslobođenje issued in the besieged Sarajevo, and those of the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, CNN, Radio France International, Independent, Financial Times, as well as the UN reports, and surveys and interviews conducted with citizens of Sarajevo.

The Chronology also served as a platform for the development of the oral history project Siege of Sarajevo 1992- 1996. Following the Chronology, we invited participants of these events to give their own testimonies.

In this way the Chronology created a vivid picture of events during the four-year siege through a variety of topics, from existential to cultural phenomena of survival, at the same time presenting political and military roles of national and international institutions.

Later on, all these projects demostrated the chosen method as the key for documenting events if they are to serve as a valuable contribution to interpretation and learning about the 1991-1999 period in the former Yugoslavia. Besides its educational role, the project has also proved as a significant contribution to the processes of truth and reconciliation, as well as to the democratization process of our post-war society.