SARAJEVO, BOSNIA - 1995: In the dangerous suburb of Dobrinja, Meliha Varesanovic walks proudly and defiantly to work during the Siege of Sarajevo, 1995. Her message to the watching Serb gunmen who surround her city is simple, “you will never defeat us.” After the war Meliha revisited the street with Getty Images photographer Tom Stoddart who captured her striking appearence and attitude.(source: http://www.thisisthewhat.com/2012/05/tom-stoddart-women-of-sarajevo-revisited/)
Meliha Varesanovic, definiton of swag
During the siege of Sarajevo (1992-1995), this woman, this photo became a symbol. A symbol for the spirit of women from and in Sarajevo. A symbol for the people’s resistance. She walked down the notorious “Sniper Alley” like a lady. She and other women of Sarajevo refused to become caricatures of the war. A war in which mass rape was used as a tactic to destroy the people’s self-worth, pride, dignity.
They kept their heels and heads high. They didn’t allow them to take away their elegance, their pride. Looking as elegant, as ladylike, as normal as possible in the gruesome, grueling, deathly surroundings of war, was their way of saying: “Fuck you! You can take away our water, food, money, electricity, hell even our lives, but not what we are and what we stand for!”
This woman, these women of Sarajevo are my personal heroes and role models.