Of the thousands of images that emerged from the decade of war in former Yugoslavia, Ron Haviv's stand out as a uniquely profound record. These award-winning photographs, depicting both the urgency and the tragedy of war, became internationally known in the pages of Time, Newsweek, Paris Match, and Stern. This extraordinary compilation bridges the gap between what the West has commonly witnessed of the war in the Balkanssoldiers, destroyed cities, and refugeesand the stark but dignified reality of everyday life during the conflict and its aftermath.
Haviv was witness to events both large and small. He was there during the beginning of the assault on Sarajevo and the subsequent siege. He was in the Croatian city of Vukovar when it was overrun by the Yugoslav Army. He was the first journalist to capture Serbian attrocities in Bosnia on film, photographs he took at great risk to his life. Haviv's images from Serb concentration camps in Bosnia helped to shock the world. And his unforgettable portrait of Serbian warlord Arkan and his so-called Tigers was the first glimpse the world received of a group of paramilitaries who perfected a practice the world would come to know as "ethnic-cleansing."
Chuck Sudetic provides an essay giving Haviv's photographs a historical, political, and cultural context. David Rieff offers an acute and impassioned defense of the document and the importance of witness. Bernard Koucher, present-day governor of Kosovo, writes with vigorous morality and passion about the importance and implications of the past on the future of the former Yugoslavia.
"When you see me now, it is not as I really am. I am not this dirty, poor woman, in dirty, smelly clothes, that all my perfume cannot cover. I am not the person I was, you see...I never envied anyone before the war. And now I am consumed, eaten by envy. That's what I've been reduced to, what all of us have been reduced to in Bosnia. We have become a nation of beggars."
A Sarajevan woman who had once been a judge,
from Blood and Honey.