Image icon book95.jpg

One of Mostar’s legendary jumpers throws himself from the town’s famed bridge, which stands more than 80 feet high. Eleven years after the bridge was destroyed during the 1992–1995 war, the rebuilt structure was opened to the public following a ceremony that drew many foreign officials, including Prince Charles. Local jumpers and divers wasted no time returning to one of their favorite pastimes before the war—collecting change from tourists who watch them jump. Local athletes also used the opportunity to prepare for the 448th annual jumping and diving competition, held the following week.

Lesson Plan Questions: 

• After standing for over 400 years, Stari Most, or the Old Bridge, was destroyed during the 1993 Croat-Bosniak War. International efforts led to the reconstruction of the bridge, and it was reopened in 2004. This physical bridge does not guarantee lasting peace between these communities, but such symbolic public efforts are significant as the nation looks toward the future. Given this context, what thoughts, feelings, and questions do you have as you view this photograph?

• Is it necessary to rebuild structures destroyed during times of war in order for communities to reconcile? What else might be necessary for reconciliation efforts to succeed? What challenges to such efforts might exist that threaten their endurance?

• How does this image help to tell a story of recovery and hope?