Tag: sevdah

Queering Sevdah with Božo Vrećo

How is a discernibly queer performer, who sings not pop but traditional, serious sevdah music, incredibly popular all over Bosnia?Sevdah, Bosnia’s traditional music which sings of loss, sadness, and heartache, has been experiencing a resurgence in popularity since the civil war of the 1990s. With figures such as Amira Medunjanin…


The Story of Sevdalinke, Part III: The Music Today

When the shooting stopped in Bosnia, roughly 100,000 lay dead, many more were wounded, and one million refugees had fled. A fragile peace took hold following the 1995 Dayton Accords, with the country split along ethnic lines into separate Serb, Croat and Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) entities. In the intervening years,…

Sarajevo Old Town.

The Story of Sevdalinke, Part II: The Musical Evolution

“What is sevdah?” an old man asks a boy. “Sevdah is when my father is singing and crying at the same time.”  The centuries-old Bosnian genre emerged when the Ottomans arrived from Constantinople and began to mix with the Slavic-speakers. The word itself escapes exact translation. Bosnians say it means…


The Story of Sevdalinke, Part I: The Saz

Standing at the sliding metal gate that shields his courtyard from the neighborhood, Ćamil Metiljević waves me inside. We shake hands and cross the hard stamped earth, heading straight back toward the woodpile, still more than six feet high at winter’s end, and turn right to enter the workshop. I…