Srebrenica Massacre – 15th Anniversary
Contemporary Issues, third prize singles
July 11, 2010
Potocari, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Relatives of victims mourn at the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial and Cemetery on the 15th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. During the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, the town of Srebrenica was declared a UN safe zone, to which thousands of Bosnian Muslims fled. The advancing Bosnian Serb Army overran the Dutch peacekeepers there in July 1995, killing more than 8,000 men and boys from in and around the town. The massacre is considered the worst atrocity in Europe since the Second World War and is the only episode from the Bosnian War to be declared an act of genocide by the UN war crimes tribunal. During the anniversary ceremony, 775 bodies newly identified from mass graves using DNA testing were buried at the cemetery, joining the 3,749 already interred there.
Ivo Saglietti speaks about the project:
"My story begins in Tuzla, in the center of the DNA identification by the ICMP (International Commission of Missing Persons), whose mission is to complete the bodies and identify them by their names. Created in 1996, at the end of the Bosnian War, by a Lyon G7 resolution, the ICMP has been charged with a crucial task: to give a name to the unidentified victims of the Bosnian war.
The ICMP headquarters are in Sarajevo, but there are many different offices and laboratories distributed all over the former Yugoslavian countries. Pathologists, geneticists, technicians and forensic experts who work in the organization come from all over the world. Their activity begins with the common graves digging and comes to an end when a corpse finally finds its name. Among all its missions, the one regarding the victims of the Srebrenica massacre represents the most important. The work of ICMP has been able to recognize more then 3,700 victims.
In the common graves fields and in the laboratories where DNA is tested, what you can hear in different languages is that this is a crucial task, and not only for the Bosnian war but for all the future wars. I starter to work on this story in 2006, with the first chapter about the ICMP center. Since 1998, I have been focused on the Balkans aftermath, the long-term project I have carried out for more then ten years."
Technical information & keywords
KeywordsSrebrenica massacre (1995) Bosnian War (1992-1995) Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery for the Victims of the 1995 Genocide (Potočari, Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina) Memorials Grief
This image is collected in
About the photographer
Ivo Saglietti started out working as a documentary filmmaker, leaving the movie business in 1978 for photography and working with Sipa Press Agency. His photographic essays and reportage have taken him to many countries across the world, from El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Cuba to Lebanon, Israel, Tanzania, Kosovo and many more. Along the way, there have been numerous books and exhibitions. Saglietti's project on the social situation in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship became the book Chile: the Noise of the Sabres. In 1995, he followed the Slave Route from Benin in Africa to Haiti, an experience that became From Ouidah to Port-au-Prince, an exhibition and catalogue. Other work includes an exhibition documenting the social and political situation of South American countries 500 years after they were discovered by Columbus; contributions to Let the Children Play, depicting the power sport has to change children's lives - to name just two. His work has appeared in exhibitions across mainland Europe, the US and the UK. His prizes include two previous World Press Photo awards (in 1992 and 1999), an Enzo Baldoni Prize and a Taft Prize for Photographer of the Year, at the Lucca Photodigital Festival in 2006. Saglietti also gives workshops internationally and, since 1999, has been a staff member of Zeitenspiegel Agentur in Stuttgart, Germany, and Prospekt Photographers in Milan.