"The closer to the true way of Kung Fu, the less wastage of expression there is" --Bruce Lee

The gesture of putting a monument to Bruce Lee in the center of Mostar (facing north so that neither the people in the eastern nor the western part of the city interpret him as being ready to fight for them, but also with his butt facing both enclaves) was probably meant as clever parody, directed at two enclaves divided by a common history and burdened with calls to misguided hero-worship. It is also a reminder of the difference between the battles in his classic martial arts films, where struggle is related to moral categories and the warriors share in a code of mutual respect, and the battles in the region's recent wars, which operated according to different standards. Maybe it is also a reminder of the way that Bruce Lee combined his talents and unique presence to contribute to undoing a long tradition of ethnic stereotypes. Mostarci could do worse than to follow the philosophy that Bruce Lee encapsulated in his slogan, "Using no way as way, Having no limitation as limitation.” His stance against the constraints of classicism and tradition may well have some lessons for people seeking paths through unenviable conditions. There is more here than an ironic gesture toward the fame of an old film star and the incapacity of a political community.

Photo: Jesse Glover and Bruce Lee sparring, courtesy of Wing Chun.

Update: Someone in Mostar seems not to have appreciated the effort taken on their behalf. Nataša Krsman comments.

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