Every day at 4 p.m. he carries out a plastic folding chair and his cello case. Most days he plays Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor. He does it in defiance. He does it in memoriam. He does it, despite the shells that still whiz in the air and crash into buildings all around, almost drowning out his song. Every day, for 22 days, Vedran Smajlović plays his cello on the site of an explosive blast in that left 22 civilians dead.
The story captured imaginations worldwide. It captures mine.
Now, known as the “Cellist of Sarajevo,” Vedran Smajlović reminds me how beauty in the midst of death, destruction, and chaos can inspire, protest, and be a light against darkness.
As someone who has pursued a life in the arts, my life can feel quiet and small sometimes. But I have come to see myself as a beauty builder. And I’ve also come to learn that is no small thing.