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Dirk-Jan Visser February 25, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Kosovo.
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Kosovo Independence Demonstration, Belgrade, Serbia 2008

Dirk-Jan Visser (b. 1978, The Netherlands) is an independent documentary photographer based in Rotterdam. In 2005 he photographed the people of Kosovo on the brink of transformation, which resulted in the book Brave New Kosovo. For his photo book Zimbabwe Exodus he won a number of awards, including Dutch Photojournalist of the Year 2007 and a special recognition in the POYi World Understanding Award. The Human Rights Watch lobby used the book to help bring about a change of asylum policy in South Africa towards Zimbabweans. Besides his photographic adventures he is curator at Atelier aan de Middendijk, an artistic initiative in the Northern part of the Netherlands. Dirk is represented by Hollandse Hoogte.

About the Photograph:

“For me personally, this picture epitomizes a very intense period of one and a half month around Kosovo Independence, running in the field shooting this ‘new born’ state from a grass root perspective, from exploited women in illegal brothels to the top end of the victorious politicians who made this independence possible. The image is taken during a protest in Belgrade that was organized by some of the main Serbian political parties on February 21st 2008, four days after Kosovo declared independence. The peaceful demonstration in front of the parliament building later turned to chaos, as hooligans looted embassies of western countries, McDonald’s restaurants and local shops. This image is the last picture I shot in this period before ending up in hospital after I was attacked and seriously hurt outside the U.S. embassy by youths who were breaking into the building.”

“Moreover, this image symbolizes the independence of Kosovo from a Serbian perspective of people fearing the future, feeling victim of an international chess game of geopolitics, power and interests. While Kosovo is burning in the background, the future and the destiny of the country is uncertain. The common people are suffering, forcing them into the ideas of radical politics. Following the incident at the U.S. embassy in Belgrade, I had enough of Balkan politics and decided to focus on daily life in Belgrade. Especially the life I encountered among my friends: a small alternative group of young people”, titled My Belgrade.”

Yoray Liberman July 11, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Kosovo.
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Graduation at the American University, Kosovo 2008

Yoray Liberman (b. 1975, Israel) began his professional work in 1997 as a freelance photographer for Gamma and AFP, covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 1999, he moved to feature and documentary photography and relocated  to New York.  In year 2000 he moved to Paris and worked with the French agency Editing. He continued traveling regularly to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Moldova-Transnistrian conflict (for GEO magazine), the Zapatistas in Mexico, and the conflict in Afghanistan (Der Spiegel). In 2004, he relocated to Istanbul, Turkey, where he did projects on secularism and religion in Turkish society – youth and nightlife in Istanbul, Muslim Sufism, Sunnite Ramadan and more. Yoray  currently lives in Israel.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is part of my project on Kosovo. I  photographed the first graduating class in the new country at the American University of Kosovo. That university offers education with American standards and gives Kosovo youth a chance to boost their country towards an independent democracy. Since February 2008 Kosovo is a self declared  state recognized by 65 out of 192 sovereign United Nations member states. in the new path of becoming a nation and liberating from their past the  youth in the country tries to build itself – they are the future of Kosovo. Nightlife and places to hang out are being built and the standards raise as more and more young Kosovars are coming back to the new country after two decades since their parents fled the Balkan war.”

Nicole Tung July 1, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Kosovo.
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Albanians at border crossing between Kosovo and Serbia. 2008

Originally from Hong Kong, Nicole Tung is now based in New York where she is in her third year at New York University, double majoring in Journalism and History. She intends to go into TV broadcast and documentary, and is currently interning at ABC News, contributing to Humanus, NYU’s Human Rights Journal, and attempting the freelance life on the side. Recently, Nicole was awarded the NYU DURF Grant which supported her trip to go back to Kosovo in December 2007.

About the Photograph:

“These Albanians are on their way to an enclave which is located in Serbian territory, and each time they want to go between Kosovo and Serbia, they have to cross a border checkpoint. The enclave they live in is called the Presevo Valley– dominated by Albanians, but legally under the Serbs. I feel like this photo is representative of the Albanians there. A month before Kosovo was set to declare its independence from Serbia, the former province underwent a subtle transition to prepare itself for the long-awaited day. Kosovo spent eight years under UN administration, following the war in 1999 in which NATO intervened on the Albanians’ behalf to drive out Yugoslav forces. Life there is marked by frequent water and power outages, and many socio-economic problems, and while Serbs remained uncertain over their future, Kosovar Albanians were confident that they would have their own country within the first few months of 2008.”

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