Duska Zagorac

Duska is an award-winning director currently developing her first feature (writer James Harris, producer Sarah Brocklehurst) with Triangle (Screen Yorkshire & Northern FM) and Creative England. In 2011, Duska shadowed her Guiding Lights mentor, director Oliver Parker, on JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN.

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Patria Mia – Nomad Direction

documentary by Duska Zagorac

>>I started off by making a film about the Chinese in Bosnia but in the process realized I was also making a film about the Bosnians in exile. At the same time, I found myself a mere observer of the new Bosnia, a society I no longer belonged to. So Patria Mia became almost like a letter to my lost country <<

Duska Zagorac, director

Here is the interview that I did with the director of the movie Patria Mia – Nomad Direction, Duska Zagorac, on transnational identities and Chinese community in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The movie Patria Mia was part of the project „Bosnia and Herzegovina: In Search for Lost Identity“. What does lost identity mean for you?

The idea behind this project was that each director would make a film that would interpret the theme in a very personal way. This meant that the twelve films that were made as part of this project were all very different.

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Beside their unique historical development, there are other similarities between urban quarters in St. Louis, Sarajevo and Vienna. One of the most important ones is the transnational identity and lifestyle of their residents that first of all assures their existential survival and additionally contributes to urban regeneration and to an improvement in quality of life for all residents. Given different opportunities, the new residents—the immigrants— can contribute to the society and thus help influence, shape and reshape it. Continue Reading →

Urban Quarters—Somewhere in the Mid-City

In the Bevo Area, South City in St. Louis, a Bosnian community in search of its own post-Yugoslav identity has unintentionally contributed to this city’s renewal. St. Louis is the second largest city in the US State of Missouri and has an estimated population of over 350,000 and is the principal municipality of Greater St. Louis, population 2,800,000, the largest urban area in Missouri, the fourth largest urban area in the Midwest, and the fifteenth largest in the United States.1 Like every other US city, St. Louis was formed by migration, especially in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries by immigrants from Germany, Ireland and Italy. They helped to shape the cuisine, religious expression, music and architecture of the city.2 In 1993 a new big wave of immigration from Europe began. These immigrants were war refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who almost immediately started reshaping the city by creating better living conditions for themselves. Continue Reading →

Chinese shopping area on the outskirts of Sarajevo—Rajlovac

Fifteen years after the end of the war, Bosnia and Herzegovina is still a country in transition. Corrupt and politically unstable, it is affected by the politics of former war enemies. A country bordering the EU, Bosnia is making an effort to stabilize politically and economically in order to join the EU. As a member of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, the country is taking part in the stabilization of the region, working together with the EU and other Balkan countries where Stabilization and Association Agreements (SAA)1 are being made. Regulated and thought out migration policies and legislation on migration issues are only fragmentary and are determined by these agreements. The country continues to work on regulating its own political system, transitioning from the former communist system and recovering from the consequences of the war in the 1990s. At the same time, it borders the EU and is therefore forced to deal with the migration policies of EU. Continue Reading →