PROJECTS - Lana Čmajčanin - visual artist

20.000 - Trauma of a Crime

Installation │ 20 music stands, lamps, prints │ 2010 
Dimension variable 

After World War II, the highest number of rapes has been registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
That figure exceeds 20,000. 
The exact number will never be determined in the patriarchal structure of society such as ours. The survived victims mostly remain in silence over trauma or fear of social and family disapproval and rejection. 
The phenomenon of mass (systematic) rape of women and underage girls as a method of achieving war targets the employment of patriarchal cultural matrix that is most often used as a factor of opponent demoralization. It sends a clear message to opponent who was not able to react protective and protect family, what ultimately has direct and strong psychological impact on a person’s identity.
The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the numerous countries that has signed the Convention Against Torture, and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which binds the country to ensure help and to enforce a right to compensation to victims. 
However, the problem of care for the civil victims of war still exists in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in Republika Srpska. Due to the inconsistency of laws between the Federation and Republika Srpska and a non-existent regulation of rights at the state level for people who survived war,  torture and sexual abuse, the violated person loses the possibility to gain their legal rights. In the case when the EU insists on the return of the exiled persons and refugees to their pre-war dwellings (usually the place of crime) it becomes a rule that, as a result of the discrepancies of the laws of two political entities, victims lose their pertaining rights in the places they were banished from.
As a consequence of multiple legal regulations, inconsistencies between laws and their implementation at the state level, the women victims of war are deprived of their rights and are made impossible to struggle for it. 

Special thanks to Igor Grubić
Translated by Tajana Pavić