Burnt squat in Ilidza

Until yesterday, Ismail stayed with three friends in a squat in Ilidza, Sarajevo. Squats here are often called Kharab a term that basically means a ruin or a messed up place. They lived in the place for about a month and describe their relationship to the neighbors as friendly. Also, that they helped them out in different ways. This is an experience many people staying in Kharabs shared with us. For a squat in Sarajevo the house was in a good condition and as seen on a Video the room was – for a squat – quite homey. Yesterday, the room they lived in burnt out completely. All their belongings, including mattresses, blankets, clothes, two phones and money, were destroyed.

They had trouble with a group of people from Serbia who they identified as racists. Although they didn’t have physical conflict with them, Ismail is certain that they set their room on fire on purpose, while he and his friends went out during the daytime. They did not have candles, cooking facilities or electricity in the house.

They said this has happened to groups in other squats as well.

A lot of people who stay in Sarajevo are now trying to get a rest coming from Montenegro, or after a push-back and to collect money to go back on “The Game” as soon as possible, trying to cross the border to Croatia by foot. This more than often ends in violent push-backs by the Croatian Police and Military, which is straining enough.   

After one night on the streets, Ismail and his friends are going back on Game tonight.