Woah! It’s a war zone

A report done by the Guardian in which they ask warzone photographers about a photo that almost killed them. Here is one of the photos, and the story that accompanies.

Bosnia, 1992

“These are the Serbian warlord Arkan’s men. They’ve just executed these Muslim civilians – a butcher, his wife and sister-in-law; the start of what became known as ethnic cleansing.

I had taken a photograph of Arkan with a baby tiger, which he’d liked, and he’d agreed for me to travel with his troops to photograph his “mission”. The soliders were yelling at me not to shoot, but I’d promised myself I’d come out of this with an image to prove what was happening.

I was shaking when I took this shot. None of them was looking at me so I lifted my camera, just trying to get them in frame. When I put it down, they looked over. They didn’t realise I’d taken photos.

Later, Arkan caught me photographing another execution and said he’d process my film and keep the ones he didn’t like. I’d hidden the film from earlier in the day in my pocket and figured that if I fought hard enough for the film in my camera, he wouldn’t search me.

When the pictures were published not long after, Arkan said in an interview, “I look forward to the day I can drink his blood.” He put me on a death list, and I spent the next eight years trying to avoid him. Eventually, these images were used to indict him at The Hague.”

-Ron Haviv

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