The Luckiest Unlucky Woman in Wartime Sarajevo
After years of wartime horror and uncanny escapes, Dijana Voljevica dreamed of bringing her incredible journey to Hollywood. A seizure claimed her life before she had a chance.
Illustrations by Eros Dervishi
In 1974, on a soggy dirt street in Old Breka, Sarajevo — a suburb of aging houses and unkempt lots — four-year-old Dijana Voljevica was inspired by mud. She gathered her four girlfriends and whispered a cruel prank: Someone will poop in a chocolate wrapper and give it to the weird kid down the street named Bumba. He eats everything. Somehow his name suggests this.
Dijana left the wrapper on the porch and knocked on the door before joining her friends behind a nearby bush. The girls laughed, and, as if the universe were in on the prank, an unattended Bumba opened the door. He saw the wrapper and took it into his mouth. His mother heard him scream and arrived in time to watch the girls run away.
Decades later — long after her native Bosnia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1992, long after the Bosnian War ended in 1995, and the siege of Dijana’s city, Sarajevo, lifted in 1996 — Dijana loved to tell this early part of her story. She always had a strange…
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