Bosnian Girl. Photo: Tarik Samarah. Bosnian Girl. Photo: Tarik Samarah.

Šejla Kamerić
Bosnian Girl



In Bosnian Girl artist Šejla Kamerić stares directly at the camera, holding our gaze. The overlaid text quotes graffiti by an unknown Dutch UN soldier found at an army barracks in Srebrenica during the Bosnian war (1992–95). Using the stylised poses found in fashion photography, Kamerić both challenges and embodies the soldier’s words. In this act, she stands for all women who have experienced prejudice because of their gender or skin colour. She suggests that women become markers of national identity, their bodies politicised as a way to uphold territories and borders. In her gaze, she asks us, the viewers, to be accountable for our own ways of looking.

We live in a constant war where the female body is used as territory. Bosnian Girl is not me, but any girl or woman… anyone whose rights have been denied. This work comes from Bosnia, but it tells a universal story of prejudice and bigotry.

Šejla Kamerić