Bosnia and Herzegovina’s architecture has been heavily affected by four main eras in which political and social events encouraged the formation of unique cultural and architectural habits among the people. Each era left its mark, contributing to a wider variety of cultures and architectural languages in this area.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, television, magazines, and newspapers are all run by both state-owned and for-profit companies that rely on advertising, subscriptions, and other sales-related income. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s constitution protects freedom of expression.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s media system is undergoing change as a nation in transition with a post-war legacy and a complicated internal political structure. During the early post-war period (1995–2005), foreign donors and cooperation agencies were primarily responsible for media development, investing to assist rebuild, diversify, democratize, and professionalize media outlets.
The establishment of an independent Communication Regulatory Agency, the adoption of a Press Code, the establishment of the Press Council, the decriminalization of label and defamation, the introduction of a rather advanced Freedom of Access to Information Law, and the creation of a Public Service Broadcasting System from the formerly state-owned broadcaster were all post-war developments. However, globally supported good advances have often been stymied by local elites, and the professionalization of media and journalists has been sluggish. Adherence to professional codes of behavior is hampered by high levels of partisanship and links between the media and political systems.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has a rich literary tradition, including Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andri and poets such as Croat AAntun Branko Šimić, Aleksa Šantić, Jovan Dučić and Mak Dizdar, writers such as Meša Selimović, Zlatko Topčić, Semezdin Mehmedinović, Miljenko Jergović, Isak Samokovlija, Safvet beg Bašagić, Abdulah Sidran, Petar Kočić, Aleksandar Hemon, and Nedžad Ibrišimović.Branislav Nušići, a playwright, was the first director of Sarajevo’s National Theater, which opened in 1919. Some of the most famous magazines addressing cultural and literary topics are Novi Plamen and Sarajevske biljeznice.
Bosnian and Herzegovina’s art was constantly developing, ranging from the earliest medieval tombstones known as Steci to paintings in the Kotromani palace. However, it was not until the advent of the Austro-Hungarians that the painting renaissance in Bosnia really began to thrive. With the beginning of the twentieth century, the first educated painters from European universities emerged. Gabrijel Jurkić, Petar Šain, Roman Petrović and Lazar Drljača are among them.
Following WWII, artists such as Mersad Berber and Safet Zec came to prominence.
In Sarajevo, Ars Aevi, a museum of contemporary art including works by internationally known artists, was established in 2007.
Typical Bosnian and Herzegovinian songs include ganga, rera, and traditional Slavic music for folk dances such as kolo, with sevdalinka being the most popular from the Ottoman period. Pop and rock music has a long history in the country, with notable artists like Dino Zonić, Goran Bregović, Davorin Popović, Kemal Monteno, Zdravko Čolić, Elvir Laković, Edo Maajka, Hari Mata Hari and Dino Merlin. Other composers such as Đorđe Novković, Al’ Dino, Haris Džinović, Kornelije Kovač, and numerous pop and rock bands such as Bijelo Dugme, Crvena Jabuka, Divlje Jagode, Indexi, Plavi Orkestar, Zabranjeno Puenje, Ambasadori, and Dubioza kolektiv. Bosnia is the birthplace of composer Duan esti, the author of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s current national song and the father of vocalist Marija Šestići, composer Saša Lošić, and pianist Saša Toperić. Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats play the old Gusle in the villages, particularly in Herzegovina. The gusle is mostly used to read epic poetry in a theatrical tone.
Sevdalinka is a kind of passionate, melancholy folk song that frequently depicts tragic themes like as love and loss, the death of a beloved person, or grief. It is perhaps the most unique and identifiably “Bosnian” of music. Traditional sevdalinkas were played with a saz, a Turkish string instrument that was subsequently supplanted by the accordion. To the chagrin of some purists, the more contemporary arrangement usually includes a singer backed by the accordion, as well as snare drums, upright bass, guitars, clarinets, and violins.
Cinema and theatre
Sarajevo is well-known throughout the world for its varied and diversified festival offerings. The Sarajevo Film Festival was founded in 1995, during the Bosnian War, and has since grown to become the most important and biggest film festival in the Balkans and South-East Europe.
Bosnia has a strong cinematic and film history going back to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia; several Bosnian filmmakers have gained worldwide recognition, with some winning international prizes ranging from the Academy Awards to numerous Palme d’Ors and Golden Bears. Danis Tanović (known for the Academy Award– and Golden Globe Award–winning 2001 film No Man’s Land and Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize–winning 2016 film Death in Sarajevo), Dušan Vukotić (won an Oscar for best animated short film in 1961 for Surogat (“Ersatz”), becoming the first foreigner to do so), and Emir Kusturica (won two Palme d’Or awards). Jasmila Žbanić (won Golden Bear), Ademir Kenović; Dino Mustafić, Benjamin Filipović, Jasmin Dizdar, Pjer Žalica, Srđan Vuletić, Aida Begić etc.
Bosnian cuisine employs a variety of spices in moderation. Most meals are light because they are cooked in a lot of water; the sauces are completely natural, consisting of nothing more than the natural juices of the vegetables in the dish. Tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, dried beans, fresh beans, plums, milk, paprika, and Pavlaka cream are common components. Bosnian cuisine combines Western and Eastern elements. Bosnian cuisine is strongly linked to Turkish, Greek, and other former Ottoman and Mediterranean cuisines as a consequence of the Ottoman rule for almost 500 years. However, due to years of Austrian dominance, there are numerous Central European influences. Beef and lamb are the most common meats used in recipes. Local specialities include evapi, burek, dolma, sarma, pilav, goulash, ajvar, and a variety of Eastern desserts. Evapi is a grilled minced beef meal, similar to kebab, popular in former Yugoslavia and regarded a national cuisine in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia. Local wines are produced in Herzegovina, where the climate is ideal for grape cultivation. Herzegovinian loza (similar to Italian grappa but less sweet) is a popular drink. The north produces plum (rakija) and apple (jabukovaa) alcoholic drinks. Distilleries in the south used to produce massive amounts of brandy and feed all of the ex-Yugoslav alcohol industries (brandy is the base of most alcoholic drinks).
Coffeehouses serving Bosnian coffee in dezva with rahat lokum and sugar cubes abound in Sarajevo and across the nation. Coffee drinking is a popular Bosnian leisure and cultural practice. Bosnia and Herzegovina ranks ninth in the world in terms of per capita coffee consumption.