Episode 108 - Kevin Sullivan: Part 1

6Apr

Our next guest on This Writing Life podcast is the journalist and novelist Kevin Sullivan. His latest novel, The Longest Winter, is set during the siege of Sarajevo, which began almost twenty-five-years ago to the day in April 1992. Sullivan covered the conflict as a journalist, and almost lost his life in the nearby town of Gornji Vakuf, when the Land Rover he was travelling in hit a landmine. Sullivan began The Longest Winter shortly after, whilst recuperating in Glasgow, but it would take many more years for the final story to be completed. In Part 1 of our conversation, Sullivan describes the liberal, tolerant Sarajevo that existed before the conflict broke out: '[It] has had a long tradition of creative co-existence among different cultures. Bosnia was in many ways a model for the rest of Europe. They were practicing multi-culturalism long before the rest of Europe.'

From here, we moved between The Longest Winter and the political back-drop to the Bosnian war - how Serbian, Croat and Bosniak politicians exploited nationalism to create emnities 

Sullivan begins by discussing his work for the International Commission for Missing Persons, that has worked tirelessly to find the thousands murdered during the Srebrenica genocide, for example. Read more about their work: https://www.icmp.int/

Part 2 to follow.

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