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Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina-July2014.Tabija Zuta, a hill that rises over the capital Sarajevo, where every day during the month of Ramadan a canon shots marks the start of Iftar.
Trokut, Federico Vespignani
[O]nce crossed the border, you can breathe a sense of suspense; on one hand the buildings marked by swarms of shrapnel from mortars and grenades, on the other, the silence of the minefields on the border with Croatia.
Twenty years have passed since the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This conflict still remains a legacy of unresolved issues for the people who lived through those times. While for young generations it constitute a wound not yet healed. Today there are 4,000 people still missing in Bosnia. “I live in the hope of finding them” Fikret bacic says who lost his family in 92 and he is still looking for them. The mourning is not processed and it remains as static in the thoughts of entire families. It seems like the expanse of woods and mountains had swallowed the people without any trace.
“I don’t feel safe” admits Anto, the fear still creeps among the houses seeking for accomplices looks. “If a Serb comes in my land, even if it represents some kind of authority, i welcome him with an ax” adds Anto. The fear is a legacy that continues to burn in the soul of the local people, but at the same time it nourishes expectations for the future. The exodus caused by the diaspora has also brought some fresh air; many have decided to come back to build a future in their country, enriching the shapeless constellation that is the Bosnian identity.

Today, Bosnia and Herzegovina has not yet reached its own economic stability, and for now Europe remains distant. the ethno nationalist elite in power keeps its citizens at bay. “The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Bosnia is surviving”, affirms a young boy from Novi Grad.
The recent floods have brought more pain and destruction in this already plagued country, but at the same time they have triggered new feelings of aggregation that were dormant for too long.
My intention is to carry a path which starts from the past’s ghosts till nowadays’s feelings in a country with so diverse shades.

Kozarac, Bosnia & Herzegovina – July 2014. Fisic Mohamed, a former soldier of the Yugoslav People’s Army. At the beginning of the war he fled to Germany where he still lives. Each year, along with his son, he returns to his motherland to which he still deeply attached.
Sanski Most, Bosnia & Herzegovina – July 2014. The coffin of one of the 284 bodies recently identified from the mass grave of Tomasica, one of the largest mass graves of the Bosnian war discovered october 2013, is transported to the place of burial. The majority of missing people disappeared in 1992. Just in the past few years the local authorities started to investigate through DNA analysis . the International Commision on Missing Persons (ICMP) believe that the remains of some 1,000 Bosniak Muslim and ethnic Croat men, women and children may be found. until now 430 bodies has been identified.
Kozarac, Bosnia & Herzegovina – July 2014. The backdrop used for Kozarac/Prijedor commemoration stage. Even today Republika Srpska government does not allow the creation of a memorial center for the victims.
Zecovi, Bosnia & Herzegovina – July 2014. A kid playing during a commemoration for Fikret Bacic’s family in Zecovi. In 1992 Serb paramilitaries slaughtered all his family. Today he is still looking for his loved ones. The perpetros of the massacre are currently living freely few kilometers from his house.
Srebrenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina – July 2014. Fatima Huseinovic in his home in Srebrenica, during the massacre in 95, she managed to escape to reach Tuzla, She has been living alone since her divorce. Like other people she still does not feel safe.
Prijedor, Bosnia & Herzegovina – July 2014. Dravka Karlica, president of a Prijedor’s NGO that deals with Serb victims’s memory of the last war and the assistance to former Bosnian Serb soldiers. She fears that the tragedy of the past could happen again as several unresolved issues still remain on both sides.
Konjevic Polje, Bosnia & Herzegovina – July 2014. Relatives of the victims in a school of Konjevic Polje, where 250 Bosniaks were slaughter by Bosnian Serb paramilitary units after the collapse of the Srebrenica’s U.N. safe area.
Zvornik, Bosnia & herzegovina – July 2014. A view of the river Drina from an abandoned hotel in Zvornik, the only bosnia town that is built right on the border with Serbia. Before the war the city was an important meeting point for business in the Balkans.
Srebrenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina – July 2014. The relatives of the victim attend the burial of their loved in the Potocari Memorial Center. In 1995, after surrounding Srebrenica, the Bosnian Serbs paramilitaries killed more than 8.000 muslims and buried the bodies among different places in Bosnia. Nowadays 6.000 people have been identified and over 2.000 are waiting to be buried.
Samac, Bosnia & Herzegovina – June 2014. Accumulated debris from the flood of may 2014 in the area around Šamac are set on fire. The disaster affected more than 40% of Bosnia & herzegovina causing damage to agriculture and infrastructure. 40.000 people were evacuated.
Jablanica, Bosnia & Herzegovina – July 2014. Mountainous landscape near Jablanica. Even today in Bosnia there are 200,000 unexploded mines that make the uninhabited areas impassable. Moreover the landslides, which are the biggest danger as floodwaters subside, are shifting uncleared wartime minefields.

Q&A with Federico Vespignani

Photography is…
A glitch of reality.

Photography and writing…
I think that combined together these two elements can really improve a work, allowing it to tap different aspects of a discourse.

Who left the biggest impression on you?
My grandfather had a big influence on me, I think it is thanks to him that I have started taking picture. As photograper the works of Gilles Peres and more recent Diana Markosian and Alec Soth.

Tell us a little about yourself
I am 26, i love music where i take a lot of inspiration for my works and listening, reading or watching other people’s stories.

Federico-VespignaniFederico Vespignani (website), born in Venice in 1988. he approached photography at 18. After completed his studies in photography in Rome, Federico moves to Spain for a personal project and back to italy starts working for different studios. His works had been published on “Il Reportage”, and had been exhibited in Venice and Bruxelles.

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