This article discusses the topic of food scarcity, hunger, and survival strategies in the context of the 1992–1995 Bosnian War. I open up the question of the role of food in the armed conflict using prevailingly the example of Srebrenica (and partially Sarajevo) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where I have undertaken long-term ethnographic fieldwork between 2013–2018. I argue that the people concentrated in the UN ‘Safe Area’ of Srebrenica were intentionally subjected to mass starvation prior to the genocide. One of the most commonly adopted strategies against the food insecurity was food self-provisioning. In particular, I focus on the everyday strategies that emerged during the armed conflict with a focus on humanitarian aid and the consumption of wild and semi-wild plants. I am trying to show that the bio-cultural knowledge of food and food self-sufficiency play an important role in increasing the individual survival chance in times of overall material scarcity and starvation.
anthropology of food, food self-provisioning, social change, war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1990s, Srebrenica
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