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[Perspectives] Stories for survival

In her essay collection On Histories and Stories, A S Byatt depicts the 1994 bombings of Sarajevo during which a group of theatre workers came together to launch a project called Scheherazade 2001. As bombs were falling from the Bosnian sky, stories by European writers were simultaneously read aloud and broadcast in theatres in Sarajevo and across Europe—a quixotic and unyielding act of resistance. Having “pitted storytelling against destruction”, fiction against reality, their struggle made use of a long tradition of Balkan folklore.