A man stands at the entrance to a narrow 'sniper's corridor', struck by a shaft of light, deliberating whether or not to dash across; a couple embrace lovingly on a terrace overlooking Sarajevo; in a tavern a young man, intoxicated by wine, breaks into song while another looks on ironically; turbaned Muslims pray facing Mecca in a Bosnian meadow; a human skull is matched to a photograph of its former face. The presence of death is felt in Paul Lowe's photographs: war and its terrors are evoked in images notable for their stillness, reminding us that exploding buildings and screaming faces are only the most obvious ways of showing devastation. But here is life too, for the Bosnians have survived, mourned and moved forward. Lovers, harvesters, old men, rambunctious children and fashionable boulevardiers populate this book, as do images of snowy fields, rebuilt bridges, and parties.
The accompanying text includes commentary by veteran BBC correspondent Allan Little, as well as a number of acute observations from various Balkan writers and newsmakers (along with anonymous graffiti), and deftly supplements the visual power of this work by a still-young photojournalist at the height of his powers.
Paul Lowe is an award-winning freelance photographer and teacher living and working in Sarajevo. A former associate of Magnum Photos, his work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, Life, Der Spiegel, The Observer and The Independent. He has covered breaking news the world over, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela's release, the Rwandan genocide and the destruction of Grozny.