In June 2001 I traveled across Bosnia documenting the efforts of an American relief group. Many of the images in the album were originally published in color. I chose to upload a few of them here in b&w. Color can sometimes distract the reader. I especially want the faces of the children to be seen. Their faces and eyes tell their story. My goal was to show that long after troops are pulled out and the media moves on to another war zone, citizens are left to pick up the pieces and move on. A small piece I wrote to accompany the photo essay at the time explains the relief groups mission….
Six years after the bloody conflict ended in the former Yugoslavia, the ravages of the war still are evident on the faces of the people, and the buildings that surround them.
Many children now are refugees and orphans displaced after the ethnic cleansing and shelling by the Serbs.
One group helping the children is TWI For The Children in Virginia, which has taken on the challenge of helping them cope with the loss of family, friends and their villages.
The group attempts to teach the children not to carry on the anger from the war into adulthood, thus continuing the conflict.
Sarajevo, which was hit the hardest, still has many bombed out structures left as is because there is no money to demolish them.
Another fact of life for the people are an estimated one million land mines that still litter the beautiful mountains and fields. The danger is so pervasive that the schools have plastic models of landmines hanging on the walls to educate the children about their dangers.
Still, life cycles on, and during the few hours children are in summer camps, they seem to forget they are homeless, orphaned and sometimes, disabled. I plan to re-edit all my images and add more to the album in the future.