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Bosnia-Herzegovina

In March 2006, I spent about two weeks traveling alone around Bosnia-Herzegovina. What I had in mind about this country before the plane touched down in Sarajevo was all that I’d read about in books and research on the war and genocide. What I saw was a place still on the post-war reconstruction road, that was as fragile as it was beautiful. I would also have to say Bosnia is a place that evokes dreams, and personally, it was where I began to think of the possibilities of a career in journalism.  

Eleven years after the end of the war there, Bosnia is still healing. Unemployment wavers at some 40 percent, many war criminals are still on the loose, bodies have never been recovered, there is little closure, and there is a deep divide between Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Serbs. The country is quite literally split in half, between two entities: the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Republic Srpska (Serb controlled).

I spent my first few days in Sarajevo, as a blank slate meeting the most fascinating people I’d ever come across. Before heading to Tuzla in the north west, I went to Srebrenica– the site that was overrun by Serb paramilitary forces in July of 1995, subsequently killing an estimated 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys while the UN Dutch peacekeepers looked on impotently. It was in Tuzla where I met the widows who’d lost their men in the genocide in Srebrenica. They continue to live at the Internally Displaced Peoples center on the outskirts of the city, refusing to return their former homes in Srebrenica. My remaining trip was spent traveling through Banja Luka, the Serbian capital of the Republic Srpska, just a few days after Slobodan Milosevic died. Serbs poured out in the hundreds onto the streets to their pay respects to him. Finally, I headed south to Mostar by way of rail, remembering the Stari Most, or the Mostar Bridge, as one of the last images in my camera. I am indebted to those who helped me find my way- and myself I might add-especially to Sani, Edin, Snaga Zene NGO, CRS, and the ICMP– and of course my parents for letting me wander. 

— (some photos in the process of being updated/rescanned)

Bey’s Mosque, Sarajevo 

‘Mary’ of Sarajevo. I just about saw her four out of the five days I spent in Sarajevo. She insisted every time that I sit down and have coffee with her. A terrific character, a terrific smoker, like many Bosnians I met. 

The memorial at Potocari, Srebrenica 

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Potocari, Srebrenica. 

balkan028On the lonely road with strangers and abandoned houses, Srebrenica. 

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The gas-station cafe outside Srebrenica. Close to some 18 men and myself threw back afternoon beers with the reporter on TV blaring away.

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Jasmina in the foreground. Growing up in the IDP Center. 

11 Years On

Widows from Srebrenica at the IDP center outside of Tuzla. 

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Laundry hangs outside in the cold at the IDP center
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Children during English classes in the local NGO Snaga Zene’s humble building. 

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The trains of Eastern Europe. On my way from Banja Luka to Mostar. 

Bosnia-Herzegovina, March 2006

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3 Comments »

  1. Incredible photography. Love it!

    Comment by Sokol — June 18, 2008 @ 10:57 am

  2. I’d no idea that you wrere so ”depthfull” with the camera, I am intrigued…very thought provoking stuff, not juts these bunch but allmost all of the photos that you’ve done, they all have that ”psychodelic-social” moment within them…

    One day I may just end up using one of your photos for an album cover or somethin’…

    Cheers,

    R

    Comment by Rush — September 1, 2008 @ 5:56 am

  3. I Want To Shoot Like You… LOVE EVERYTHING!

    TEACH ME YOUR WAYS!

    Comment by Evan Brockett — December 17, 2008 @ 12:03 pm


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