Black Butterflies: 30 years after the Siege of Sarajevo

Priscilla Morris

Sarajevo, spring 1992. Each night, nationalist gangs erect barricades, splitting the diverse city into ethnic enclaves; each morning, the residents – whether Muslim, Croat or Serb – push the makeshift barriers aside.

Zora, an artist and teacher, is focused on her family, her students, her studio in the old town. But when violence finally spills over, she sees that she must send her husband and elderly mother to safety with her daughter in England. Reluctant to believe that hostilities will last more than a handful of weeks, she stays behind. As the city falls under siege and everything they loved is laid to waste, black ashes floating over the rooftops, Zora and her friends are forced to rebuild themselves, over and over. 

Inspired by real-life accounts of the longest siege in modern warfare, only thirty years ago, Black Butterflies is a breathtaking portrait of disintegration, resilience and hope. 

In the video below, Morris tells us more about her personal connection to the siege and who inspired the characters in Black Butterflies. 

Black Butterflies
Priscilla Morris
Publication date: 5 May 2022
Hardback
ISBN: 9780715654590