Max Strasser


23 July 2015

In Višegrad

In The Bridge on the Drina (1945), which tells Bosnia’s history through 500 years of anecdotes centered on an Ottoman bridge in the town of Višegrad (Basil Davidson called the novel ‘Bosnia’s Waverley’), Ivo Andrić wrote of the persecution of ethnic Serbs by Austrio-Hungarian authorities and their Muslim backers after Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914: As has so often happened in the history of man, permission was tacitly granted for acts of violence and plunder, even for murder, if they were carried out in the name of higher interests, according to established rules, and against a limited number of men of a particular type and belief. Saturday, 11 July was the 20th anniversary of the start of the slaughter of 8000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica, ninety kilometres north of Višegrad.


2 January 2014

At New York City Hall

Yesterday morning the plaza in front of New York’s City Hall was crowded with local luminaries, shivering under blankets and bundled in winter clothes. Celebrities and politicians, elders from the city's ethnic communities, clergy and union leaders gathered to celebrate the inauguration of the new mayor, Bill de Blasio. Regular citizens were there too. That in itself was notable. De Blasio’s inauguration was the first open to the general public in recent memory.


12 September 2013

Among the Arms Dealers

Currently on display at London’s Excel Conference and Exhibition Centre are more ways to kill people than you can imagine: tactical sniper rifles from the United Arab Emirates’ Tawazun Advanced Defense Systems, medium-calibre mortars from India’s Ordnance Factories Board, optical sights for grenade launchers from Bulgaria’s Opticoelectron Group. And there’s the less lethal, too, like the CS gas made by NonLethal Technologies of Pennsylvania. 'Sure it’ll make you tear up,' a company representative said. 'But it won’t kill you.' He might have added: 'usually'.