CRY BOSNIA

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The Independent Culture
God knows the people of former Yugoslavia have enough to contend with, what with food and power shortages, the ruined shops and houses and the proximity of sudden violent death, but a new charity has taken the view that man shall not live by bread alone: he needs the printed word, too.

Cry Bosnia has been set up to rebuild the printing works in secure premises in East Mostar and to liaise with publishers and donors on a range of cultural initiatives. "The printing works gave employment to 500 people, so from that point of view alone it was very important," says the charity's spokeswoman, Stephanie Wolfe Murray. "The printing works has been destroyed twice and now they can't even print up their death notices." Another scheme is the restocking and either repair or relocation of the children's library, where every book was systematically destroyed.

"We would like people to donate picture books, but we don't want to go overboard on English language ones, although the children do speak English," says Wolfe Murray. More pertinently, the charity will be lobbying children's publishers to run small editions in what used to be called Serbo-Croat, at cost, or ideally for nothing.

The first money-raiser is a photo-book, Cry Bosnia, published by Canongate (pounds 14.95), who will be donating a percentage of each book sold. Paper and printing was supplied at cost and even the sales team is donating half their commission. Veteran journo Paul Harris's poignant photographs and comment go easy on the gore while packing a visual punch - the book is about survival, not death.

! Cry Bosnia can be contacted at 20 St Leonard's Bank, Edinburgh EH8 9SQ (0131 667 3299)

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