Bosnia 30 Years Later: Lessons from Reporting the Bosnian War

Virtual event


April 5, 2022
12:00–13:15PM EDT

Venue info

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Photo by Ron Haviv / VII. Bosnian soldiers smoke and take a break on the frontline next to a sign that says 'welcome to Sarajevo' in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in the fall of 1994. Trench warfare was fought all around the city of Sarajevo.

On 6 April 1992, as part of the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, Serbian forces attacked the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, setting off a three-year war marked by ethnic cleansing and genocide. The Bosnian War – which killed 100,000 civilians and soliders, displaced more than two million people, and saw tens of thousands of women raped – was long regarded, until the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as Europe’s deadliest conflict since World War II.

NATO airstrikes at the end of August 1995 – after the Srebrenica genocide and prompted by the shelling of the Sarajevo marketplace that month – forced Republika Srpska forces to retreat and led to negotiations that produced the Dayton Peace Agreement in December 1995. Based on ethnic divisions and secured by the international community, the Dayton agreement has resulted in a three-decades-long fragile peace.

In this VII Insider event, VII photographers who covered the Bosnian War will review how they reported the conflict – with an emphasis on the civilian experience – and reflect on both what was and was not photographed, as well as the impact their images had (or did not have). The discussion will also focus on what lessons can be learned from the Bosnian experience for visual journalists working in conflict zones today. 

Featuring The Estate of Alexandra Boulat, Ziyah Gafic, Ron Haviv, and Paul Lowe.

The Estate of Alexandra Boulat

, Paris
Alexandra Boulat was born in Paris, France, May 2, 1962, and died in Paris on October 5, 2007. She was originally trained in graphic art and art history at the Beaux Arts in Paris. In 1989, she followed in the steps of her father, photographer Pierre Boulat, who worked for LIFE magazine for 25 years, and became a photojournalist as well. She was represented by Sipa Press for 10 years until 2000.

Paul Lowe

, London
Dr. Paul Lowe is a Reader in Documentary Photography and the Course Leader of the Masters program in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London, UK. Paul is an award-winning photographer who has been published in TIME, Newsweek, Life, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Observer, and The Independent, amongst others. He has covered breaking news the world over, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela’s release, famine in Africa, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and the destruction of Grozny.

Ron Haviv

, New York

Ron Haviv is an Emmy nominated and award-winning photojournalist and co-founder of the VII Agency, dedicated to documenting conflict and raising awareness about human rights issues around the globe. His first photography book, Blood and Honey: A Balkan War Journal, was called “One of the best non-fiction books of the year,” by The Los Angeles Times and “A chilling but vastly important record of a people’s suffering,” by Newsweek.

Ziyah Gafic

, Sarajevo

Ziyah Gafic (1980) is an award-winning photojournalist and videographer based in Sarajevo focusing on societies locked in a perpetual cycle of violence and Muslim communities around the world. He covered major stories in over 50 countries.

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