All Tips Daily Tasks Balance Creativity

I mostly played with my band.

I worked so much and I was so tired – physically and mentally – that sleep was the best medicine.

Laughter, humor, jokes...

In my free time I would do my neighbors’ hair, I’d get a pack of cigarettes for a haircut. I was drawing throughout the war.

I learned Italian.

I did crosswords with a pencil – then I would rub them out and do them all over again.

I worked nonstop, and when I was not working I was thinking about what else I needed to do, and that entertained me.

In my spare time I trained in basketball.

I went Painting or gardening.

I waited until late at night for the gas supply to be turned on so that I could work on my doctorate.

I knitted woolen socks and slippers, talked to my neighbors, took care of the house, all that was everyday free time.

Time was measured differently then: we measured it by how long it took to do something.

I’m a magician. I would practice magic tricks.

In my spare time I read old magazines, before I burned them to make fire.

I went to ‘work’ out of spite.

I spent my free time with my wife in the garden.

I was preparing for journalism exams.

My friends and I would party for no reason, just to relax. We used truck batteries to listen to the music.

I used to get up at 7 in the morning to play basketball. At the same time I was waiting to get some water from the pump.

I used to cross streets running 300 kilometers per hour.

Decisions were made at the last minute. You could never be sure of anything.

I played cards, chess and dominoes with my neighbors and friends.

I tried to feel as good as possible.

You have to be faster, more perceptive than your usual self.

In my spare time I was playing with my daughter or making my own cigarettes for the next day.

In my free time I made wartime ‘gourmet specialties’.

In my free time I tried to get some rest from the war.

I took rests and talked to my wife.

In my spare time I was writing my MA thesis and studying English and German.

In my free time I engaged in farming, in pots. It was very calming.

I made toys in my free time; I’ve now been doing this for 10 years and earn my living this way.

We mainly used our free time to talk about food. You didn’t need light or electricity for discussions.

I repaired TV sets in people’s houses. That was often needed as TV sets often broke down because of the unstable electric current and frequent electricity cuts.

I dressed up out of spite.

I mostly listened to music.

I studied English and was preparing for my exams.

In my free time I was repairing watches.

I socialized with people, trying to forget about everyday life.

I did my best to look good.

In my spare time I read things that would calm me down.

My son played tennis – in the basement, of course.

I rode my bike.

I taught math to children on my street; I used to work as a math teacher a long time ago.

I walked around the city, mostly because I would have gone crazy locked in the house the whole time.

I was stitching a large piece of needlepoint.

I have no other tip but: all you need is work.

I went to several weddings. Each time we had great fun.

The most important feat is that I stayed in one piece, and I graduated from university.

I cultivated vegetables and flowers in my garden.

I played football.

I trained in athletics.

In my free time I did my best not to think about the war.

Free time was spent in good company, with music…

Since I lost 20kg, I redesigned my old clothes.

I had a lot of free time, and used to hang out with some new pals.

I spent it reading because that relaxed me and made me forget everyday life.

Relax, be cool and do everything with a bit of humor.

I spent it with my family, because I did not know if I’d survive the next day.

I would style my neighbors’ hair to make them more beautiful.

The most significant event was the birth of my son.

During the shelling, I’d be putting the washing out.

I planned nothing, never made decisions in advance.

I walked my dog.

In my free time I tried to talk to children, because it relaxed me.

I enrolled in college and walked to my classes every day.

I had a nerves of steel and the patience of a saint.

In my spare time I was stitching needlepoint, it calmed me down.

I knitted, crocheted – anything to keep my hands busy.

In my free time I would go out with a friend, just for the sake of not forgetting old habits.

I talked to the neighbors, with a cup of cocoa.

I read old novels and books, sometimes two or three times.

We use to make puppet shows on our staircase.

I did not have any invention of my own, except that I wasn’t worrying and I didn’t let it unnerve me.

Nothing was as it used to be, we lived in the world of the Mad Max movies.

We showed a sense of humor at the end of everything.

I made a walkman that worked on a dynamo. Whenever I rode a bike, I listened to music.

I simply knew what to do and when, or if had to wait; and then I waited.

I went to choir rehearsals.

I stayed human.

In my spare time I wrote poems.



Work was the law of mental and physical survival. Working towards resilience kept people’s minds occupied – work eliminated thoughts that could challenge their motivation.



It was necessary to establish a balance in the extreme urban conditions of life. This was done by creating peaceful, simple, normal situations, according to one's personal needs.



During the siege, the continuation of normal life in the city, the continuation of creativity, was as important as bread or medicine or water for all citizens of Sarajevo.

Building Resilience

Ahead of Fear


Extreme Conditions and
Human Resilience

Evidence-based case-study:
The Siege of Sarajevo 1992-1996

We are not necessarily living in a Risky World, as much as we are facing the World at Risk!

The Art of Survival

Feel free to share the guidebook with your friends, family and colleagues!

Copyright 2016-2020 R2.1 / FAMA Methodology

Editor-in-chief: Miran Norderland     Author and Editor: Suada Kapic    Art Direction: Davor Vidovic    Illustrator: Jelena Simic    Graphic Design: VIDEOR o.d. videor.ba    Editor/Translator: Mirjana Evtov    Editor/Proofreader: Gina Landor    Contributor: Jasmina Murga    Sources: FAMA COLLECTION famacollection.org, FAMA METHODOLOGY famamethodology.net    Photo credits: FAMA Collection (1992-1996), Zeljko Puljic, Milomir Kovacevic and Personal Archives    Publisher for Bosnia and Herzegovina: VIDEOR o.d.

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