The Real Edges

« Can a country lose consciousness? »

That was the first question he asked me.

He told me :

We have circled the country with words to give meaning to its war.

We said «fratricidal», we said «religious», we said «ethnic».

Definitive words thrown like grenades to outline the contours of a conflict we understood nothing of. So as not to get tangled up in the names of its people, its religions and its language, it got all wrapped up in a simple and terrifying phrase: « At the gates of Europe ».

We spoke then of a siege, a massacre and soon of a genocide.

He told me:

One day we would have to try to capture the outlines of this evanescent body through images. If the collapse in the decades to come is foregone, then we must look at those who have already fallen. Identify their outlines as one deciphers a bad omen. Prick up one’s ears and listen to this ceaseless floating, delve into this strange and tormented coma. If the country is passed out, there is a body to identify. And that may be the photographer’s mission.

He told me:

Here, war is no more, and it is not yet peace.

It is the in-between time that we call « post-war ». It is the time comprised in the dash between those two words. Only nobody knows how long its length.

And that’s exactly what I came to photograph. Bearing witness, documenting, requires a rigour I am quite incapable of summoning. Busting ghosts is what I want. Hunt down the «in-between» time within the substance of the images.

This images are the never-ending dash between the war and its aftermath.

He told me :

«The Real edges» will be the title, as in this beautiful Japanese poem - another land of ghosts – that speaks of love and a disembodied wound. That speaks, in the end, of Bosnia.

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