‘Echoes and memories’
In 1992,Yugoslavia was coming to its end and its constituting countries were, driven by nationalistic propaganda, fighting for independence along their ethnic borders. After Bosnia claimed independence in 1992, the resulting war lasted for four years and became the scene of a muslim genocide, carried out by bosnian-serb forces. At the end of the war, 100.000 people lost their lives, millions fled and a whole state and its society lay in ruins.
Today, 15 years after the war and with Bosnia now officially at peace, one can still see and feel the aftermath of the genocide. In the Drina Valley, the towns and surrounding villages of Foca, Visegrad, Zvornik, Zepa and Srebrenica, which are comprimising the area of eastern Bosnia - the athmosphere is like a deep fog of collective trauma that is hovering over the land and its people, still poisoning the human spirit that used to exist in the multicultural state of Bosnia. Nowadays, the feelings of tension, fear and a deep division between the people are constant companions, silent reminders of the atrocities and the genocide comitted here.
The Project, ‘Echoes and memories’ is ought to be a journey into this athmosphere, created by the war. I want to explore the many layers of history, meandering between a golden past and the dark chapters of the war, discovering a place lost between silence, melancholic beauty and destruction. Travelling into this region of Bosnia, one is not only travelling in space, but in time as well. Little has changed since the end of the war. With the means of photography, i want to capture memories and intimate impressions in the year of the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the war in eastern Bosnia. It is a investigation into the current athmosphere as well as a documentation into a past, that is both uniting and dividing this region.
The aim is to capture the essence of the last twenty years of history in the Drinavalley.
What has happened and how did it affect the present in a region so uniquely beautiful and tragic.
I believe in the importance of this project as not documenting it would equal a contribution to ‘memocide’, the extinction of history and a continuation of the genocide.
Because those who are forgotten have never existed. And their stories go unheard.
The faces of the survivors tell their stories and impose a moral obligation on us:
And to learn.