Safe Area Gorazde : The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-95 Paperback
by Joe Sacco
In late 1995 and early 1996, cartoonist/reporter Joe Sacco travelled four times to Gorazde, a UN-designated safe area during the Bosnian War, which had teetered on the brink of obliteration for three and a half years.
Still surrounded by Bosnian Serb forces, the mainly Muslim people of Gorazde had endured heavy attacks and severe privation to hang on to their town while the rest of Eastern Bosnia was brutally 'cleansed' of its non-Serb population.
But as much as Safe Area Gorazde is an account of a terrible siege, it presents a snapshot of people who were slowly letting themselves believe that a war was ending and that they had survived.
Since it was first published in 2000, Safe Area Gorazde has been recognized as one of the absolute classics of graphic non-fiction.
We are delighted to publish it in the UK for the first time, to stand beside Joe Sacco's other books on the Cape list - Palestine, The Fixer and Notes from a Defeatist.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 236 pages, ill
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 12/04/2007
- Category: Comic book & cartoon art
- ISBN: 9780224080897
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Review by iftyzaidi
Another stunning non-fiction graphic novel. Joe Sacco went to live in Gorazde, a small Bosnian Muslim enclave that was cut off from Sarajevo and surrounded by Bosnian Serbian militia groups. It was declared a 'safe area' by the UN for refugees, but that did not prevent it being repeatedly shelled and attacked. Sacco here tells the story of Gorazde and the people he came to know there and how they lived and survived through the war. By the time Sacco arrives there, the fighting is mostly over, but the fate of Gorazde is still uncertain, as there is talk of it being traded to the Serbs for territory further to the west. The ruminations by various inhabitants about whether they would leave their homes if this does happen, or whether they could ever live with their Serb neighbours again as they did before the war are truly heartbreaking. This is first class reporting, wonderfully touching, brutally honest and beautifully illustrated. The people Sacco came to know are shown with their faults and quirks, not lionized or idealized but shown in all their humanity. I can't recommend this enough.