Srebrenica: The Powerful Photography of Tarik Samarah

On a rainy day during my last week in Sarajevo, I finally made my way to Galley 11/07/95.  I had been walking by the poster inviting me in to see Tarik Samarah’s deeply moving photo exhibition. This exhibit is dedicated to the memory of the victims of Srebrenica and also pays homage to the survivors who continue to live with the memory of the genocide committed there.  The name of the space refers to the date the forces of General Mladić entered the Srebrenica safe area and started a massacre of civilians that lasted for days.

Besides, the specificity of the Gallery 11/07/95 is the fact that it does not deal with the history in its final form, but it is also intervening into the historical moment that is not only a recent past, but belongs to the present as well. The general aim of this museum is to be a strong and decisive voice against all forms of violence in the world. Srebrenica is a symbol – not only of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also of the suffering of innocent people and the indifference of others. – Tarik Samarah

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The entrance to the exhibit.  Upon entering, I walked into a room of 600+ portraits of male victims; boys as young as 12, men, and elderly men.

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This mother lost her husband and  her five boys.  She has made a collage of her family.  Every day that she went out of her house she would wear this around her neck in hopes that someone would recognise one of her boys.

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The woman in the above picture had drawn pictures of birds.  They were all over the living room.  She said she likes to draw birds because they gave her hope.  Tarik said she inspired him to take this picture of flying birds.

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This picture was taken in 2002 in a camp for Srebrenica survivors.  This boy was born during the attack in Srebrenica and is alive today.  He is a survivor.

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The identification process using DNA analysis.  Taking blood samples from the finger of a mother from Srebrenica to be used in the process of identifying victims conducted by the International Commission for Missing Persons.

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This is a broken doll that was strategically placed (presumably by a local resident who knew about the site) on top of the surface of a secondary mass grave.

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A stark contrast.  On the left, representatives of the international community are dressed in suits, gathered in the shade while talking on cell phones.  They are standing across the street from the cemetary.   On the right, the sound of dirt raining down on the coffins of 599 men and one woman on March 31, 2003.

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A mother from Srebrenica outside Anne Frank’s house museum.

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The entrance and exit hallway.  On the left are the names of more than 8,000 victims murdered in the genocide.

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In the elevator leaving the exhibit.  Never forget Srebrenica.

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