[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.
Q&A with Federico Vespignani
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 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.