Friday 22nd March, our H.A.N.D. volunteer Anne Sophie Laurence Phetsarath had the honor of being invited by the women of the elderly center for a private exhibition of Bosnian painting at the Saint Anthony Franciscan Monastery. This exhibition explored the intersection between Art and Bosnia and offers a rare glimpse of the artists working methods and invites us to take time to look, offering intimate insights into their artistic relationship and differing creative processes. In this immersive room, the walls are contrasted by different paintings with different styles and subject from huge canvases with eclectic colors and techniques such as Acrylic, pencil, Pastel, Tempera, Oil painting and Watercolor.


The eclectic mix reflects the way various artists and artistic movements escaped the confines of one genre. However, many paintings have flowers and nature as well as places that reflect the Bosnian identity and demonstrate how each artist has transformed the traditional subject with a modernism that would transcend time and places.

Some paintings exposed was made by women from the elderly center (Centar za zdravo starenje Novo Sarajevo.) As a volunteer in this center, she was able to attend and see during the workshops the revisiting and reworked of a subject inspired by a photo (sometimes blurred or poorly printed) and to be able to see the painting develop and created until it turned into colorful patterns on canvas.


For example, Melita, a lady from the center, exhibited today one of her paintings representing the typical Bosnian windows; rendering them with vibrant colours and transforming them into powerful works of art, highlighting her unique interpretations of the traditional subject matter.


Unlike a basic exhibition or museum, Anne Sophie was allowed to touch the paintings, which is a great opportunity to feel the techniques used to create the compositions. For example, one of the big canvas made with oil painting represent flowers with whimsical colors and shapes of which you can feel the texture of the reliefs at your fingertips, giving an intense sense of intricate details, captured with precision.


She also saw watercolor paintings who create a phantasmagorical universe due to its blurred features that blend on the canvas creating an ocean of flowing colors between them, but also more abstract paintings recalling Picasso’s Cubism style by geometric shapes with basic objects distorting and blur the line between reality and fantasy.

Once again, this exhibition was a very valuable opportunity to bring together colorful figures of around 50 works by different Bosnian artists.


After contemplating the paintings with gloomy colors, she later left with the group of ladies from the center to go for a coffee at the Sevdah Art House, a charming place located in the old town, who makes museum and coffee at the same time, where the walls are invaded by traditional paintings representing several places in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


“Some ladies shared with me Heljdini uštipci, a kinds of bread with buckwheat that are accompanied with plum jam, and two types of cheese including Kajmak, which is a typical Balkan cheese. It was the first time I tasted and I liked it a lot, as well as the Bosnian coffee that I have already been able to try in the past but this one is the best I could taste!”

More about H.A.N.D. Humanitarian Aid

“Humanitarian Aid for the Needs of Development – HAND” is an ESC Humanitarian Aid project which will take place in Uganda, India and Bosnia Herzegovina with the Irish and Turkish volunteers over 24 months. There will be a total of 36 volunteers deployed to assist with the education, healing and repairing, development and strengthening of local communities through their motivated, active and fully-equipped participation in our project’s activities.


The project has the following general objectives:

– Aim to bring about more equity within our target communities

– Reduce the societal challenges that the communities face

– Help to reinforce and strengthen vulnerable individuals

– Bring the sense of solidarity to the communities that need aid

– Establish intercontinental partnerships

– Share knowledge, skills, behaviors/attitudes between the volunteers and communities


– Exchange of good practices while working at international and EU level

– Support green practices in the communities

– Establish intercultural learning

– Reinforce participants with the knowledge of the 8 Key Competencies of Youthpass

– Provide non-formal and informal learning environment for the participants as well as the target groups

– Enhance the employability of the participants particular focus on those with fewer opportunities

– Establish the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals within the communities


The project will utilize all the online and offline channels to disseminate the impact of our activities to the world. There will be short movies which will describe the activities for each of the locations. The volunteers will do their best to make positive impact and change in the communities which have expressed a desire for humanitarian assistance. Through this well designed collaboration of supporting and hosting organizations, our 36 volunteers in the HAND project will be part of this transformation process project as the first generation of the ESC Humanitarian Aid Program.

More about BRAVO you can see on our video below: 
Choose language »
Skip to content