Following the death of Tito in 1980 Yugoslavia entered a period of chronic political instability. The different states within Yugoslavia had a certain amount of regional autonomy through the 1970's and increasingly in the 1980's. When in 1987, Slobodan Miloševic, a Serbian nationalist came to power there was an attempt to reduce the amount of autonomy and this was rejected by the populations of Kosovo, Slovenia and Croatia all of which had elected non-communist leaders as opposed to Miloševic who was an old-school communist. On 25 June 1991 Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence and following this the breakup of the former Yugoslavia was inevitable - for the next ten years villages fought within themselves as ethnic cleansing swept the countryside. Atrocities were committed on all sides as the United Nations sent troops and NATO used force and diplomacy to try and restore some level of peace betwen the fractured states and buffer zones.
|As the wars raged in the Balkans with appalling atrocities the Italian fashion company Benetton in its 1994 campaign reminded the world of what was happening. Oliviero Toscani, the creative mastermind of the Benetton campaigns, took a photograph that resembled in layout what one might find in a clothing catalogue. But here the clothes represent the death of a Bosnian soldier in a brutal conflict.|
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More than 7000 unarmed muslim men and boys were executed between 12-19 July 1995, at Srebrenica in a UN safe zone, in what is widely recognized as the greatest atrocity in Europe since WWII. The attack was led by Bosnian-Serb Gen. Radislav Krstic who led the Drina Corps - on August 2nd, 2001 he was sentenced by the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) to 46 years in jail for the war crime of genocide.
|The Graves: Srebrenica And Vukovar |
Eric Stover; & Gilles Peress (Photographer)
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|Farewell to Bosnia |
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The madness of this war was well represented in the 2001 feature film: 'No Man's Land'
that is largely set in a trench with a Bosnian and a Serbian soldier. The situation is one of continual tragedy in an irrational world.
In the non-fictional world the conflict photographers recorded the moving battlelines as villages were destroyed, snipers played with the pedestrians of Sarajevo, and cities such as Dubrovnik were shelled.
- Luc Delahaye
- Gilles Peress - The Graves: Srebrenica and Vukovar (ISBN: 3931141764) - Author: Eric Stover (Author) and Gilles Peress (Photographer).
- Filip Horvat - Croatian photojournalist (http://www.filiphorvat.com/) - his photographs of the endless lines of refugees winding their ways through the forests to escape in Kosovo. - the bruised bodies after beatings and torture.
- Tom Stoddart