DUTCH CITIZEN, "I FEEL ASHAMED"
Jehanne van Woerkom’s photo-montage commemorates Muslim refugees that were murdered by the Serbian army.
By Blake Boffa
In remembrance of the Srebrenica massacre, the Noyes Museum of Art in collaboration with the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey currently displays Jehanne van Woerkom’s photo-montage, Srebrenica: Never Again.
Declared a safe haven by the United Nations in April of 1993, Srebrenica was a protected place for Muslim refugees fleeing from the Serbian Army.
They found solace under the protection of first the Canadian Blue Helmets; then the Dutchbat battalion, but the refugees’ peace was cut short by an attack from the Bosnian-Serbs.
On July 7, 30 Dutch soldiers were taken hostage.
Then, on July 11, a weeklong massacre began, in which 8,000 to 10,000 people lost their lives. It is considered to be the worst massacre in Europe since the Second World War.
Every July 11, hundreds of identified bodies from the Srebrenica massacre are buried at nearby Potocari. Woerkom chronicles this day through her photographs.
“As a Dutch citizen, I am very much aware of the fact that the Dutchbat was in Srebrenica,” said Woerkom. “I feel very much ashamed, indignant, and angry about the failure of the peacekeeping mission. But what can I do? At least I can be present at the side of the families, who bury their loved ones at Potocari, every July 11.”
Woerkom, a Dutch artist and activist, advocates greater Dutch responsibility for the future of the survivors.
The exhibit will be open until the Jan. 16 at the Noyes Museum of Art.