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Ziyah Gafic September 8, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bosnia.

Ziyah Gafic was born in Sarajevo and graduated from  Sarajevo University. He regularly contributes to magazines and newspapers such as: Liberation, Le Monde 2, La Republica, Photo, Telegraph Magazine, The   L’Espresso, Newsweek and TIME among others. His work has been widely exhibited in Perpignan, Arles, Amsterdam, London, Tokyo, and Geneva  His photo essay about the aftermath of the Bosnian war was published in the book “Tales From Globalizing World”. Honors include: The Ian Parry/ Sunday Times Magazine award and also won 2nd prize of the World Press Photo contest, 2001.  Kodak award for young reporters at Visa pour l’Image, 2002. PDN’s 30 emerging photographers, 2003. Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography, 2007. Grant from OPA for his project “Muslims of New York”, 2008. His other projects focus on societies in transition; from Bosnia to Rwanda and Chechnya to Iraq.  Ziyak is represented by Getty Images.

About the Photograph:

Growing up in besieged Sarajevo and witnessing the war from the point of view of someone to whom the war was actually happening but not being able to take part in it left me deeply frustrated. Photography allowed me to be on the other side of the event. Frustration grew into determination to document the long and painful aftermath in post-war Bosnia. It was the reason for me becoming a photographer. I knew how reduced and distorted the image of my homeland had become to the rest of the world and I felt obliged to give my best and change that image. I had this extraordinary experience to be on both sides: to be part of the news and to be storyteller myself which gave me a rare inside-out look which determined and shaped my approach to storytelling.


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