| Between fears and hope |  Chapter 1 |  Srebrenica


Over the past two years, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the end of the war, political and social tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been increasing progressively up to the present time.


These tensions culminated in the recent approval of the bill with which the Parliament of the Republika Srpska, the entity that emerged after the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreements and inhabited mostly by Bosnian Serbs, intends to abandon the institutions and separate from BiH. A secession that would again place the country on the edge of the abyss.


This serious threat to peace takes hold as a generation of people who fought for the multiethnic and plural character of Bosnia and Herzegovina disappears, and another generation of young survivors and victims of the previous conflict have decided to return to live in what was once their home - a home forever marked by the horror of war and the loss of most of their loved ones. These people often have to face the denial of genocide and other types of episodes of provocation, that, in addition to making coexistence difficult, prevent the development of a town frozen in time. As they grapple with the burden of their memories and unhealed wounds, they now face an uncertain future. The family of the young Imam of the Mosque, Ahmed Hrustanović, agreed to share with me the intimacy of their daily's "returnees" life.


Through photography and interviews, I am trying to give a concrete reality to the genocide, in order to extricate it from the simple statistics which inexorably condemn it to oblivion.

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Annual commemoration at the Kravica warehouse execution site.


July 2020

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Annual commemoration at the Kravica warehouse execution site.


July 2020

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On July 16, 1995, soldiers of the Bosnian Serb army summarily executed around 500 men with automatic weapons inside the cultural center of the village of Pilica.


October 2020

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On July 16, 1995, soldiers of the Bosnian Serb army summarily executed around 500 men with automatic weapons inside the cultural center of the village of Pilica.


October 2020

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Srebrenica's religious buildings. The two mosques were completely destroyed after the capture of the city.


October 2020

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Srebrenica's religious buildings. The two mosques were completely destroyed after the capture of the city.


October 2020

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Ahmed Hrustanovic is the second Imam of the city of Srebrenica. He survived the Genocide, though lost his father, grandfathers and all of his uncles. He is haunted by his own memory. He once told me his life oscillates between fear and hope... Ahmed draws from his faith the courage and resilience to overcome his traumatic memories. 


March 2021

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Ahmed Hrustanovic is the second Imam of the city of Srebrenica. He survived the Genocide, though lost his father, grandfathers and all of his uncles. He is haunted by his own memory. He once told me his life oscillates between fear and hope... Ahmed draws from his faith the courage and resilience to overcome his traumatic memories. 


March 2021

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On July 13 1995, Serbian soldiers executed 1,314 people detained in an agricultural warehouse in the village of Kravica. The soldiers used automatic weapons, hand grenades, and other heavy weapons. Ahmed's father, his two grandfathers, several cousins and all of his uncles were executed in this place.


October 2020

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On July 13 1995, Serbian soldiers executed 1,314 people detained in an agricultural warehouse in the village of Kravica. The soldiers used automatic weapons, hand grenades, and other heavy weapons. Ahmed's father, his two grandfathers, several cousins and all of his uncles were executed in this place.


October 2020

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Ahmed takes his children to the destroyed village of his childhood, Miholjevine, lost in the mountains of Srebrenica. A moment of joy for the children, of deep sadness for him.


July 2020

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Ahmed takes his children to the destroyed village of his childhood, Miholjevine, lost in the mountains of Srebrenica. A moment of joy for the children, of deep sadness for him.


July 2020

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Ahmed meets with a forensic scientist from the ICMP (International Commission on Missing Persons). New bones of his father have just been identified by DNA.


March 2021

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Ahmed meets with a forensic scientist from the ICMP (International Commission on Missing Persons). New bones of his father have just been identified by DNA.


March 2021

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Enis, Ahmed's brother, looks at the ICMP identification documents. He never knew his father.


Mars 2021

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Enis, Ahmed's brother, looks at the ICMP identification documents. He never knew his father.


Mars 2021

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Under the supervision of police officers and forensic experts from the ICMP, the skeleton is partially reconstructed.


July 2021

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Under the supervision of police officers and forensic experts from the ICMP, the skeleton is partially reconstructed.


July 2021

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Ahmed meditates at his father's grave, which has just been reopened to allow for forensic reconstruction of the skeleton and reburial.


July 2021

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Ahmed meditates at his father's grave, which has just been reopened to allow for forensic reconstruction of the skeleton and reburial.


July 2021

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Under strict police surveillance, July 13 is the only day that the "mothers of Srebrenica" can pay tribute to their male relatives and visit the places where they were executed.


July 2020

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Under strict police surveillance, July 13 is the only day that the "mothers of Srebrenica" can pay tribute to their male relatives and visit the places where they were executed.


July 2020

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In 1992, British journalist Ed Vulliamy discovered and revealed to the world the horrors of the Omarska concentration camp. He subsequently wrote several books on the Bosnian war and was an important witness in various trials before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in particular that of Radovan Karadzic. I met him during July 11 burial ceremony in Srebrenica.


July 2021

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In 1992, British journalist Ed Vulliamy discovered and revealed to the world the horrors of the Omarska concentration camp. He subsequently wrote several books on the Bosnian war and was an important witness in various trials before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in particular that of Radovan Karadzic. I met him during July 11 burial ceremony in Srebrenica.


July 2021

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Pilica Cultural Center. Families of the victims can only access the site once a year.


March 2021

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Pilica Cultural Center. Families of the victims can only access the site once a year.


March 2021

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Surrounded by beautiful nature, the city center of Srebrenica has many ruined buildings. The bombardment of the city during the siege is not the only reason to explain such a state of decomposition. Many houses were also burned down after the war, to dissuade returnees from relocating to the city.


October 2020

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Surrounded by beautiful nature, the city center of Srebrenica has many ruined buildings. The bombardment of the city during the siege is not the only reason to explain such a state of decomposition. Many houses were also burned down after the war, to dissuade returnees from relocating to the city.


October 2020

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Fahrudin Muminovic was only 7 when he was shot down together with his father in a field nearby the village of Orahovac. He was seriously wounded, yet was miraculously saved by a Bosnian Serb truck driver present to assist the soldiers in charge of the execution. Today, Fahrudin suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorders which prevent him from leading a normal life.


Urkovići, October 2020

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Fahrudin Muminovic was only 7 when he was shot down together with his father in a field nearby the village of Orahovac. He was seriously wounded, yet was miraculously saved by a Bosnian Serb truck driver present to assist the soldiers in charge of the execution. Today, Fahrudin suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorders which prevent him from leading a normal life.


Urkovići, October 2020

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Orahovac school gymnasium, one of the sites used by Bosnian Serb soldiers to detain prisoners before their execution.


October 2020

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Orahovac school gymnasium, one of the sites used by Bosnian Serb soldiers to detain prisoners before their execution.


October 2020

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Mujo Pasic spends most of his time in his log cabin on the mountain that overlooks the town. In 1993 he was evacuated by helicopter to Tuzla and could not return to Srebrenica. His children, aged 15 and 17, were executed in July 1995 in the outskirts of Srebrenica.


October 2020

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Mujo Pasic spends most of his time in his log cabin on the mountain that overlooks the town. In 1993 he was evacuated by helicopter to Tuzla and could not return to Srebrenica. His children, aged 15 and 17, were executed in July 1995 in the outskirts of Srebrenica.


October 2020

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On July 13, several hundred prisoners were held captive at Nova Kasaba football field, some executed nearby.


July 2020

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On July 13, several hundred prisoners were held captive at Nova Kasaba football field, some executed nearby.


July 2020

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Destroyed house in Srebrenica city center.


March 2021

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Destroyed house in Srebrenica city center.


March 2021

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Mother of Srebrenica, July 11th ceremony.


July 2020

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Mother of Srebrenica, July 11th ceremony.


July 2020

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Earthworks have discovered some of the remains of Almasa Salihović's destroyed house in a village near Skelani and the Drina River. Almasa Salihović was only 8 years old when Srebrenica fell. Her brother was killed by Bosnian Serb soldiers. She currently works at the Potocari Srebrenica Memorial Center.


March 2021

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Earthworks have discovered some of the remains of Almasa Salihović's destroyed house in a village near Skelani and the Drina River. Almasa Salihović was only 8 years old when Srebrenica fell. Her brother was killed by Bosnian Serb soldiers. She currently works at the Potocari Srebrenica Memorial Center.


March 2021

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Before the war, the stadium of the football club Guber Srebrenica hosted important matches of the Yugoslavia Cup. At present, despite not having any ethnic distinction and being one of the few examples of coexistence, the club plays in a regional category and attendance at matches is scarce.


March 2021

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Before the war, the stadium of the football club Guber Srebrenica hosted important matches of the Yugoslavia Cup. At present, despite not having any ethnic distinction and being one of the few examples of coexistence, the club plays in a regional category and attendance at matches is scarce.


March 2021

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Destroyed houses along the Drina River.


March 2021

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Destroyed houses along the Drina River.


March 2021

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Šakir Mujić was 21 years old in 1993. Due to the constant shelling, the inhabitants Luka village had to flee. They took refuge in the woods, surviving in log cabins, sometimes in caves on the cliffs leading down to the Drina River.


October 2020

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Šakir Mujić was 21 years old in 1993. Due to the constant shelling, the inhabitants Luka village had to flee. They took refuge in the woods, surviving in log cabins, sometimes in caves on the cliffs leading down to the Drina River.


October 2020

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Drawings on the wall of the former Srebrenica's UN military base.


July 2021

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Drawings on the wall of the former Srebrenica's UN military base.


July 2021

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Nedzad Avdic is one of the 2 survivors of the Petkovci massacre. He takes me to his old ruined high school in the village of Nova Kasaba, where he remembers the time when all children could study together, regardless of their ethnicity or religion.


July 2020

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Nedzad Avdic is one of the 2 survivors of the Petkovci massacre. He takes me to his old ruined high school in the village of Nova Kasaba, where he remembers the time when all children could study together, regardless of their ethnicity or religion.


July 2020

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Petkovci Dam, one of the five main execution sites. Prisoners were executed in a rocky field below the dam. Water of the lake is heavily polluted by nearby mining activities.


October 2020

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Petkovci Dam, one of the five main execution sites. Prisoners were executed in a rocky field below the dam. Water of the lake is heavily polluted by nearby mining activities.


October 2020

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Petkovci Dam execution site, at the very spot where Nedzad Avdic was seriously wounded by three bullets shot from an automatic weapon fired at close range. In favor of the night, helped by another prisoner miraculously unharmed, the two survivors will manage to flee the site and join the positions of the Bosnian army after several days of wanderings in the hills on the way to Tuzla.


March 2021

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Petkovci Dam execution site, at the very spot where Nedzad Avdic was seriously wounded by three bullets shot from an automatic weapon fired at close range. In favor of the night, helped by another prisoner miraculously unharmed, the two survivors will manage to flee the site and join the positions of the Bosnian army after several days of wanderings in the hills on the way to Tuzla.


March 2021

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Drago is an 84-year-old Serbian resident of the village of Petkovci. During the war, he was a truck driver. We chatted for a moment, in a friendly way. But, in a village marked by the crimes of the genocide, it is not common to see a Serbian resident interacting with foreigners. Our conversation quickly attracted attention. A neighbor came to sit on the bench right next to him. From then on, Drago remained silent, even distant.


March 2021

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Drago is an 84-year-old Serbian resident of the village of Petkovci. During the war, he was a truck driver. We chatted for a moment, in a friendly way. But, in a village marked by the crimes of the genocide, it is not common to see a Serbian resident interacting with foreigners. Our conversation quickly attracted attention. A neighbor came to sit on the bench right next to him. From then on, Drago remained silent, even distant.


March 2021

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School of Pilica. On July 14 and 15, approximately 1,200 prisoners were taken from Bratunac detention centers to this school. Serbian soldiers summarily executed a large number of prisoners with automatic weapons inside the school. Today, nothing reminds visitors of the tragic events that took place there in 1995.


March 2021

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School of Pilica. On July 14 and 15, approximately 1,200 prisoners were taken from Bratunac detention centers to this school. Serbian soldiers summarily executed a large number of prisoners with automatic weapons inside the school. Today, nothing reminds visitors of the tragic events that took place there in 1995.


March 2021

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Saliha Osmanovic lives alone in the same village she had to flee with her family during the war. She lost her two children and her husband in July 1995. She attended several court hearings and testified at the trial against the Bosnian Serb war criminal Ratko Mladic.


October 2020

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Saliha Osmanovic lives alone in the same village she had to flee with her family during the war. She lost her two children and her husband in July 1995. She attended several court hearings and testified at the trial against the Bosnian Serb war criminal Ratko Mladic.


October 2020

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Destroyed industry in the outskirts of Srebrenica.


March 2021

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Destroyed industry in the outskirts of Srebrenica.


March 2021

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in 1995, Gerry Kremer was the Dutch surgeon of the UN base in Potocari. On July 10th, he refused the order to lock himself up with his team in the base's bunker and wait until everything was over. He disobeyed instead, and left alone to treat the wounded, saving many lives in the surrounding chaos. Even today, he remains deeply angry with his own government.


July 2021

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in 1995, Gerry Kremer was the Dutch surgeon of the UN base in Potocari. On July 10th, he refused the order to lock himself up with his team in the base's bunker and wait until everything was over. He disobeyed instead, and left alone to treat the wounded, saving many lives in the surrounding chaos. Even today, he remains deeply angry with his own government.


July 2021

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Mountains landscape overlooking Potocari's former UN base.


October 2020

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Mountains landscape overlooking Potocari's former UN base.


October 2020

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"Dutchbat" soldiers drawings on the former UN base in Potocari.


October 2020

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"Dutchbat" soldiers drawings on the former UN base in Potocari.


October 2020

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During the war, Ramiz Cardakovic was part of a squad infiltrated behind Serbian lines. A group of foresters from the village of Stoborani escorting refugees from Žepa to Tuzla, a dangerous 120 km journey through the snow-capped mountains. Together they saved the lives of nearly 400 refugees.


Stoborani, March 2021
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During the war, Ramiz Cardakovic was part of a squad infiltrated behind Serbian lines. A group of foresters from the village of Stoborani escorting refugees from Žepa to Tuzla, a dangerous 120 km journey through the snow-capped mountains. Together they saved the lives of nearly 400 refugees.


Stoborani, March 2021
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Muhamed Avdic was 12 when he was evacuated from the enclave in 1993. After the fall of Srebrenica, his father was taken prisoner in Serbia and handed over to the Bosnian Serb authorities. The exchange took place on the Drina Bridge in Bratunac. Since that date, his father's body has never been found.


October 2020

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Muhamed Avdic was 12 when he was evacuated from the enclave in 1993. After the fall of Srebrenica, his father was taken prisoner in Serbia and handed over to the Bosnian Serb authorities. The exchange took place on the Drina Bridge in Bratunac. Since that date, his father's body has never been found.


October 2020

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Destroyed houses overlooking Srebrenica football field.


March 2021

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Destroyed houses overlooking Srebrenica football field.


March 2021

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Hajra Catic's hall houses the memories of his son Nino Catic, who reported the siege and made known the fall of the Srebrenica enclave. His remains, as well as that of approximately 1,000 other victims, have yet to be found. Hajra spent much of her life searching for Nino's remains. She passed away on November 9, 2021 without finding relief.


October 2020

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Hajra Catic's hall houses the memories of his son Nino Catic, who reported the siege and made known the fall of the Srebrenica enclave. His remains, as well as that of approximately 1,000 other victims, have yet to be found. Hajra spent much of her life searching for Nino's remains. She passed away on November 9, 2021 without finding relief.


October 2020

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More than a quarter of a century after the genocide, every July 11 the remains of the victims found during the previous year are still buried.


July 2021

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More than a quarter of a century after the genocide, every July 11 the remains of the victims found during the previous year are still buried.


July 2021

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