Between Fears and Hope – Fabrice Dekoninck



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Between Fears and Hope – Fabrice Dekoninck


At a time when the war in Ukraine is endangering world peace and reshuffling the maps of European and international geopolitics, this book by Fabrice Dekoninck allows us to look at one of the major conflicts of the end of the 20th century, which , in many ways, raises the question of reconstruction and the fate of the victims.
Like an anthropologist of memory, the photographer has carried out a real investigation in search of witnesses, survivors and traces of this fratricidal war in Bosnia. Between Fears and Hope tells how truth and justice are the essential principles to create the conditions for a lasting reconciliation between the former belligerents.

Preoder. Delivery start mid September, 2023.

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From 1992 to 1995, in the heart of Europe, the nationalist project of ‘Greater Serbia’ led Bosnia-Herzegovina into a fratricidal war that culminated in the Srebrenica genocide.The Dayton Agreement will freeze the country in a precarious peace based on an ethnic partition of the country.

Since then, tensions between ethnic and religious communities have remained vivid, fuelled by nationalist rhetorics that exploits memory to the detriment of justice and reconciliation, thus posing a real risk to peace.

In photography, Fabrice Dekoninck takes us on a journey of immersion in the memory of the war. For more than two years, he has explored, in its most intimate aspects, the memory of those who survived the siege of Sarajevo, the ethnic cleansing of the Prijedor region and the genocide in Srebrenica. Like an anthropologist of memory, he has documented, on the very places where the events took place, the memory of the witnesses and the serious traumas that are passed on between generations.

This work paints a portrait of a Bosnian society that remains mired in its own past. Fortunately, hope remains. The photographer also met members of civil society, artists or activists, who have decided not to carry the burden of a collective memory imposed on them and who still believe in the possibility of a multi-ethnic ideal in a country at peace.

“I remember my first trip to Srebrenica in February 2020. Even before arriving in the city, I am stunned by the landscape that unfolds before my eyes. Everywhere, the stigma of violence and hatred. Yet I had prepared myself for a long time. I had read the accounts of the witnesses and immersed myself in the archives of the International Criminal Court. But nothing could prepare me for the raw reality of the genocide. I feel everything, the hatred of the murderers and the suffering of the victims. Everything here is latent, palpable, horribly present.”

Most of the work has been done with analogic cameras (35 mm and medium format), around 3 geographical chapters: Srebrenica, Kozarac/Prijedor and Sarajevo

Preface by Fabrice Dekoninck and Philippe Simon (former French war correspondent who shared the daily life of a Bosnian family in Sarajevo throughout the siege).
Afterwords by Nicolas Moll (historian) and Bruno Tertrais (deputy director of the Foundation for Strategic Research and geopolitical adviser at the Institut Montaigne).

In 1992, a young Bosnian, Arman Soldin, was evacuated from Sarajevo in the French presidential plane to escape the siege of the city. He joined Agence France-Presse in 2015 and was killed near Bakhmout by Russian forces on May 9, 2023. This tragic episode symbolizes the echoes of the Yugoslav wars that can be heard in Ukraine. 
Fabrice Dekoninck’s work is a tribute to all war reporters, whose work is indispensable to citizens and historians alike. By showing the human reality of war, he demonstrates its inhumanity. Many of the photographs in this volume could have been taken a few weeks or months ago in Ukraine.”
A political scientist and an expert in international security issues, Bruno Tertrais is deputy director of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique and a geopolitical adviser at the Institut Montaigne. At the time of the war in Bosnia, he worked at the French ministry of defense.

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Weight 1 kg
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English, French


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