Despite all the buzz about the reconstruction of Mostar’s beautiful Old Bridge, Mostar remains a largely divided city, with Bosniaks on one side and Croats on the other. In Citizens of an Empty Nation: Youth and State-Making in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina
(University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), anthropologist Azra Hromadžić
takes the reader into the halls (and into the bathroom) of Mostar Gymnasium, Bosnia-Herzegovina’s first integrated high school. Through ethnographic details about the possibilities for and limitations of inter-ethnic socializing within the school, Hromadžić draws much broader insights about the complicated relationship between internationally-sponsored reunification initiatives and the ethnic segregation that is built into the very framework of the post-war state.
Jelena Golubovic is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Simon Fraser University.