The Real Edges

  • Dates
    2017 - 2021
  • Author
  • Topics Awards, Documentary, Fine Art, War & Conflicts
  • Location Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina

« Can a country lose consciousness? » 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.

We have circled the country with words to give meaning to its war. We said «fratricidal», we said «religious», we said «ethnic». Ultimate 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 then spoke of siege, massacre and soon genocide. 

After four years of horror, the country was cut in half. And to purge the last ardours, «The Agreements» were signed, as we bleed a gash in the country’s body. So the bullets stopped whistling, the cameras were switched off and everyone went home.The kerf was too deep and that the country may had lost its consciousness.

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 photographic work is the never-ending dash between the war and its aftermath.

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 thatmay be the photographer’s mission.

This will be the title: «The Real Edges», 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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The Real Edges by Adrien Selbert

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