Thursday, October 29, 2020

Montenegro free of Cluster Bombs.

 Congratulation to the Norwegian People’s Aid for the work done in helping Montenegro become free of Cluster Bombs! 

And, I enjoyed working with them documenting their efforts. 

"10 August 2020 marked an important date in Montenegrin history. 10 years to the day after the Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force, Montenegro could proudly declare itself free of these deadly weapons”.


For better quality video, check out my Vimeo page.



Wednesday, August 19, 2020

World Humanitarian Day, 19th August 2020- Caritas Switzerland

During the Covid 19 pandemic, I have collaborated with #CaritasCH in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They, right away, started a project to hand out food and hygiene vouchers to the the most vulnerable. I believe it shows great vision and initiative in order to pull this off as fast as they did. 


Bellow are random impressions from various municipalities as well as people. The work is always in collaboration with the officials and often connects with local partners who knows the people locally. It is a good example of what is possible with good collaboration. 


















More to come.






Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Što Te Nema? Where have you been?

Aida Sehovic's created the traveling participatory instillation art piece based on coffee cups. She uses masses of traditional coffee cups from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The title is the give away, each coffee cup represents someone who was killed during the Genocide in Srebrenica. This year, representing 25 years since the genocide took place, the installation was set up at the Potocari Memorial Center where the commemoration takes place. Volunteers helps during the preparation and during the day long set up. Survivors comes and people are invited to sponsor by contributing with coffee cups. Such a moving tribute to the horrific events of July 1995. 

A family finds comfort while contributing to the memory of those killed during the Srebrenica genocide.

Aida Sehovic preparing at the Potocari Memorial Center.

Boxes of coffee and cups at the Potocari Memorial Center.

The first few cups is placed. Approximately 8000 more cups were used for this years installation.

Aida Sehovic at the Potocari Memorial Center with volunteers respecting Covid 19 measures.

A full team is preparing the coffee.

A constant flow of people comes to commemorate as well as contribute to the work.

Preparing coffee while the temperature is reaching 40C


A constant flow of people comes to commemorate as well as contribute to the work.

A constant flow of people comes to commemorate as well as contribute to the work.

The Potocari Memorial cemetery can be seen in the background. 



The mascot of this years project may very well end up being this dog.



#bosnia #srebrenica #genocide #storytelling #marsmira #humanrights #photojournalism #documentary #potocari #july11 #nikonswitzerland #reportage  #lifeaftergenocide #aftermath #neveragain #nikonpro #StoTeNema #StoTeNema2020 #Srebrenica25

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Looking for the bones. Srebrenica- 25 years later.


Ramiz Nukic survived a genocide. Many in his family did not, including his two brothers and his father. Today, 25 years later, his life still is consumed by the genocide that he survived.


Ramiz at home. 



July 11th 2020 marks 25 years since the genocide took place in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnian Serb  Commander Radko Mladic walked in with his men and simply declared the town and the region around it as part if the greater Serbia and that this was revenge on what the “Turks did” (during the Ottoman Empire). He faced little or no resistance from the locals- after all- Srebrenica was meant to be a safe area for local Bosnian muslims and it was meant to be protected by the Dutch UN forces. 



The week that followed will be remembered as one of the darkest periods of the UN. More than 8000 mostly men and boys were brutally murdered by Mladic men. The stories are well documented. What is less known is that there are still many missing. The surrounding forests and valleys were used to hide mass graves, some are yet to be discovered. For many who survived, the stories continue to mark their lives.



11th of July marks the date when Srebrenica fell in 1995. It also marks the date for the 'Burial of the dead' and commemoration that takes place every year in Potocari, just outside of Srebrenica. 



In 1993, when the Serb forces were closing in on the region, Srebrenica was declared a “Safe Zone” by the UN. People around Srebrenica moved into the small town and became refugees. Every apartment and house were full, people lived in other peoples properties. Import of food and medicine was almost non excitant, life was hard. Ramiz was 41 years old, married and a father to 5 children. 



Ramiz at home with his daughter, son in law and grand children.


When Srebrenica fell, Ramiz and his family went Potocari, where an old Yugoslav era car battery factory that was used as the UN head quarter during the war for the Srebrenica ‘safe zone’.  Most of the more than 30’000 people staying in Srebrenica at the time tried to walk the 5km to Potocari hoping to reach safety in the vast factory halls and that the UN would provide some sort of protection against the attackers. The UN failed in their mission to protect and ended up assisting in splitting men and boys from women and children. While women and children were mostly driven away to Tuzla, another safe zone, men and boys were in many cases never seen again. Many other men and boys, it is estimated some 15’000, including Ramiz and his two brothers and father decided to try to escape through the forrest and mountains in order to reach safe territory near Tuzla, a 110km long walk away. Over half were killed in what is today known as the Srebrenica Genocide. 





The burial of the dead, at Potocari Memorial cemetery, July 11th. 2017.


Ramiz survived and he, and his family, returned to the family home, just outside of Srebrenica, in 2001, after living as refugees elsewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Surrounding the family home, are mostly woods, valleys and small hills. It is the area where many tried to flee Mladic’ troops. After having returned to the family home, Ramiz decided to look for the remains of his family members. He had last seen them not too far from the family home. He did not succeed in finding his relatives (they have later been found in local mass graves and are now buried), but he did find many other remains of people who were also killed during the genocide. 



Ramiz granddaughter playing on her swing.

Ramiz with his wife and grandson. 



Despite many years having past, Ramiz continues to find remains of the people killed during the genocide. He can not stop, admits that it has become a personal mission, and hopes that his efforts will help others in the same way that it helped him to find the people in his family who had been killed during the genocide. He hopes to help people to find peace, particularly the mothers who lost their husbands and sons. Almost every morning, during the summer season, he walks in the area around his family home. He continues, almost daily, to find remains- it could be personal items, pieces of clothing or bones, many bones. In the years he has been looking for missing people, he has found body parts, and helped identify, more than 250 people.



The woods are dense around the area of the family home of Ramiz. 



Remains found near in the area of Kamenice.




It is relatively easy to find missing clothes other personal items in the area around Kamenice.



An I.D. card found near Kamenice, around 

It is relatively easy to find missing clothes other personal items in the area around Kamenice.

Remains found near in the area of Kamenice.



In Tuzla, in the north east of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dragana Vucetic works as a senior Forensic Anthropologist at the International Center for Missing Persons (ICMP). She too is occupied on a daily basis about the Genocide in Srebrenica. However, her life as an anthropologist is different than the life of Ramiz Nukic. 


Dragana at her office at the ICMP in Tuzla.



Dragana was born and grew up just outside of Belgrade, in Serbia. She was a young girl during the war. As a newly educated forensic anthropologist, it was a great opportunity to work for the ICMP on the project of identifying victims of the Srebrenica genocide. However as a Serb, it was at the time considered, by some in her circles, a controversial move to work and live in Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly working for the missing persons (ICMP) office on the the case of Srebrenica. Professionally it was a great job and Dragana remains professional and is happy to contribute with her expertise. She moved to Tuzla and has now been working for the ICMP for more than 10 years. 



Dragana with colleagues in her work space.



Remains currently being worked on for identification.



There are still over 900 missing people from the Srebrenica genocide. 


Teeth are particularly good for identification purposes.




After the wars in the 1990’s, over 35’000 people were reported missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Today, nearly 28’000 have been found and identified. Amongst the ones still missing are nearly 1’000 from the genocide in Srebrenica. 


July 11the marks the commemoration of the genocide in Srebrenica.

When the remains of people are found, they are first, either taken to the ICMP or the Missing persons Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the ICMP, the remains are being cleaned and DNA tested if possible, in order to be identified. Usually, remains arrives incomplete, it normally means bodies have been found in multiple locations. Original graves were dug up and reburied as the war came to a close. The idea was to try to hide the graves and make it more difficult to find and identify the missing people and to hide the crimes that had been committed. Body parts from some people found after the Srebrenica genocide have been found in up to 5 different graves. Dragana and her colleagues cleans and take samples from the remains and try to match the bones. Using DNA, they try to match the samples from family members. The technique is developed by the ICMP after the wars in the Balkans in the 1990’s and is now being used in many other places around the world, including in Iraq, Syria, after the tsunami in Asia (2004) and after the hurricane Katrina (2005) in the USA.