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Winner of the 2002 European Publishers' Award for Photography, Simon Norfolk won the Olivier Rebbot Award in 2003 and was short-listed for the CitiBank Prize. In 2004 he received a prestigious International Centre of Photography Infinity Award, and the Terence Donovan from the Royal Photographic Society.
Simon Norfolk is more than a gifted photographer: Simon Norfolk is a chronicler of those thing the human mind may elect to forget but should always be reminded. This impressive limited edition book of twenty four color plates describe Norfolk's response to the history of the Bosnian war of the 1990s.
`The war in Bosnia in the 1990s raised to common currency the terms `ethnic cleansing,' and `humanitarian intervention'. It brought back to Europe a barbarism not seen since the Second World War; and was the first war fought very much under the eyes of the media. It was also the first conflict fought by killers who knew, even before the war had finished, that a war crimes tribunal awaited them. Norfolk's photographs initially appear almost abstract. Yet through these still and beautiful images of ice, water, snow and the land, we can sense the arrogance of killers who believed they could conceal the brutal evidence of their crimes by reburying their victims in `secondary' graves. But over time secrets escape, and the truth bleeds out.'
When asked why he should choose to capture these images Norfolk replied, `I had a good friend who was married to a Bosnian girl and I went to Bosnia during the war, but I didn't really take any good pictures. I think I was a bit confused by it all, and it was difficult to really work out what was going on, apart from seeing what was happening in the surrounding 100 meters.I specifically didn't want to do something where I would return ten years after the war and say, "I feel the following people are to blame." I'm not a specialist; but what did interest me was this idea of secondary mass graves; there has never been a war that had secondary mass graves like this. Before the war ended, people knew that there would be criminal proceedings.Read more ›
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