When I visited the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial just outside Munich there was a monument upon which the words “Never Again” were written in numerous languages. As everyone is aware the Holocaust was not the last genocide the world would see, in fact it was not the last act of genocide that Europe would witness. Fifty years after the liberation of the most infamous of the Nazis Death Camps, Auschwitz, the male population of the Bosnian village of Srebrenica would be massacred by Bosnian Serb Forces. What made this act even more appalling was that it was witnessed by the United Nations troops put there to protect them.
When I first visited Bosnia in 2013 I did not visit Srebrenica. However, whilst in Sarajevo I took the opportunity to visit the Srebrenica Museum in the city. What I saw in the museum left me emotionally broken, but at the same time set me on the path to producing this series of work.
Having returned to Bosnia in 2014 to start this project I had identified that Srebrenica would be one of my key locations in the project. What I had not expected was the hostility that the inhabitants of the surrounding area to Srebrenica would show to my presence.
This body of work entitled ‘Safe Zone’ is just part of a series that chronicles the breakup of Yugoslavia. Safe Zone focuses solely upon eastern Bosnia from 1992 to the aftermath of the fall of Srebrenica. Its title derives from Srebrenica becoming the first area to be designated a United Nations safe area and under its military protection.