Srebrenica Massacre – 19 years after the genocide

Gallery 11/07/95 – Design by Ricardo Praga based on the photography artwork from Tarik Samarah
Gallery 11/07/95 – Designed by Ricardo Praga based on the photography artworks from Tarik Samarah

Being part of an organization such as United Photo Press don’t mean only to do photography or painting and promoting it throughout the world, means also that we can use those activities that we are good at to raise awareness on World´s current problems and conflicts. By using your personal skills together with an initiative spirit, the United Photo Press can indeed provide you with the opportunity to highlight important causes or events. Due to that, as an artist and member of UPP, I would like to take the chance to recall today´s date, 11 July, the day which started the Srebrenica Massacre in Bosnia back in 1995. Have been only 19 years from what is known as the biggest genocide after World War 2. More than 8,000 Muslim men were rounded up and killed when the town of Srebrenica was seized during the Bosnian war. These people have been buried in mass graves during the war times and till now only over 6000 have been exhumed from mass graves to be buried at Potocari cemetery.

Today the remains of 175 victims are being buried at Potocari Cemetery and every year more remains are found and put together till families agree that is time to bury them. 

There are still around 2000 victims somewhere in hidden mass graves across the Drina valley, today´s Republic of Serbia.

The past shouldn’t be forgotten and the crimes committed are no different of the genocide committed in other camps such as the Auschwitz. Therefore, young people should be constantly reminded of the crimes and must do all that is necessary to never let such things happen again.

Gallery 11/07/95 – Srebrenica – Photography by Ricardo Praga

 It´s important to know that such event didn´t happen so long time ago and must say that I do remember very freshly those times. Incredible to think 19 years ago this was happening just in Europe but things in that time seemed so far away…
Nowadays as countries in Europe get more near each other with borders dropping allowing free transit between different cultures, this phenomenon that happen back in 1995 is just near to unthinkable but on the other hand very recently we were assisting to a War happening in Ukrainian soil which is showing that we, as human kind, are not taking the proper actions when such conflicts as the Bosnian one appear. We didn’t established proper protocols to prevent innocent people to die.

We are not learning much from past mistakes even if we are aware of previous horrifying genocides or is it possible that we just start to forget since medias not playing the role of recalling important History facts and instead pumping the general public with many other information far from relevant. Today while running through several international media channels I could verify that there was not much information about the events that happened in 11 July 1995 or the ceremony of the 175 victims that were killed during the massacre and finally the families have the chance to do a proper burial today. Bosnians every year are burying the victims at the 11th and doing ceremonies in this day to recall the terrifying acts of the Genocide, the street´s walls from the capital scream for Srebrenica with graffiti painted on the walls and a big gallery just at the city center of the capital call for the 11 July 1995. From my perspective such date should be propagated worldwide to let people know what power, politics and religion can lead to if not driven by compassioned, reasonable and intelligent people.

Today with the United Photo Press we would like to take you back to 1995 and recall what happen during the times of the Massacre and due to that we have been at Gallery 11/07/95 in Sarajevo, one of the most important galleries in the capital with the main aim to call for awareness of the Srebrenica events.

Text and images by Ricardo Praga