Zlata’s Diary

War broke out in her home city of Sarajevo when Zlata Filipovic was 11 years old. Now an author and filmmaker, Filipovic tells how she, her family, and her neighbors used resilience to survive the years of horror


[00:00:00] Stephen: This is Road to Resilience, a podcast about facing adversity. I'm Stephen Calabria. Today on the show we have acclaimed author and filmmaker Zlata Filipovic. Zlata was born and partially raised in Sarajevo, Bosnia, which at the time was part of the larger country of Yugoslavia. When war broke out and came to Sarajevo in 1992, Zlata was just 11 years old, and over the next several years she would witness and endure innumerable horrors. Zlata recounted her what she saw in her journal. When that journal was published in 1992, under the title Zlata's Diary, it received worldwide recognition and would provide Zlata and her family the opportunity to escape. We're honored to have Zlata on the show.

[00:00:47] Zlata Filipovich, welcome to the show.

[00:00:50] Zlata: Thank you for having me.

[00:00:52] Stephen: Could you describe what the lead up to the war was like and how things suddenly changed in your community in Sarajevo?

[00:01:00] Zlata: It was sort of like the change when it happened, I think when it was happening, was imperceptible and slowly encroaching. But now when I look back on it, I would say that there was a one day where my life was kind of cut into two halves -- the time before the war, and then the time once the war started.

[00:01:21] And in a way, everything kind of harks back to that moment of the slicing of life into two halves. So even though it's now, you know, 30 years later you still think, that was a, it's 30 years since my life completely changes. My life was sliced into the time before the war and since the war.

[00:01:42] And that kind of almost seems to suggest that you're still living through a war because it hasn't stopped. You haven't had the second slice where you're gonna move away from it. but actually thinking of kind of, t he details of when it was happening. I think there's a sort of a level of rejection when something big is coming and changing your life, that you're kind of pushing it aside and you're not accepting it and you're not believing it.

[00:02:07] So therefore, the changes are actually happening in the moment more gradually than with a bit of perspective of time. You say, oh, that was the moment when it all changed, but there was a series of moments where you didn't believe things were changing. But they were.

[00:02:23] Stephen: And so what was that?

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