Photographer's Note

Buildings from Austro-Hungarian period give special charm to architectonic wealth of Mostar. In 1878 Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to Austro-Hungarian empire. There is a whole range of interesting buildings from that time. One of them is the Old Gymnasium situated on Spanish Square, just by separation line from the last war. It was built in 1898 according to outline scheme of architect Blazek, with facade rich in Moresque elements. The Gymnasium was destroyed in last war but is still looks nice.

While taking this photo, a 30 year old looking guy approached me. He was homeless, in a very poor, ragged clothing and had scars on his forehead yet still handsome, and was living in a deserted corner nearby the square. He had somehow understood that I was a tourist and began murmuring some words in English. Actually he was speaking in a disordered way, as if he were mentally retarded. I was a little bit annoyed, but then I got the point: How could such a guy talk in English? The poor guy was really polite and he told me that he was sorry if he bothered me. Yes he was a homeless, but did not want any money, and said that he only wanted to have a little talk, just in order to practice his speaking. He showed me his school card, dating back to 1992. I was then terribly sorry for him when he told me about how he turned into this: He was a pupil in the gymnasium, when a buckshot hit the frontal part of his head. He was then cured and survived, but since a part of his brain was damaged by the shot, he would never be able to speak properly again. And yet he had lost his home and family to the war, he now had to live in the streets. I had never felt such helpless and unhappy for anyone else before and would nearly cry. How could I help him, and those many unlucky ones, who survied the war but now in a worse situation than death?

Now everytime I see this photo, I remember him, and this wounded beautiful monument somehow resembles him.

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Additional Photos by Deniz Taskin (rigoletto) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3085 W: 400 N: 6725] (34279)
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