“Aftermath: Bosnia’s Long Road to Peace” by Sara Terry

Join us for a book club meeting with Sara Terry as she discusses her book “Aftermath: Bosnia’s Long Road to Peace” with fellow VII photographer Ziyah Gafic.

“Aftermath: Bosnia’s Long Road to Peace” explores the human costs and consequences of war. Sara Terry spent five years, from 2000 to 2005, documenting the social, political, and economic upheavals of Bosnia’s struggle with the aftermath of a war marked by ethnic cleansing and the worst genocide since World War II – a project that also inspired her to start The Aftermath Project, a non-profit which gives grants to photographers covering post-conflict stories. Though the world has seen remarkable images from that war, little has emerged from Bosnia since the tanks rolled out and the journalists went home. Sara Terry provides a powerful perspective on what happens when the violence has been stilled. Even though Bosnia’s bitter war ended in 1995, the country is still deep in the throes of rebuilding a civil society, clinging to the tenuous hope that the cycles of violence in its past will not threaten the nation’s future. Terry’s work explored how Bosnians dealt with repercussions of war in their quest for a stable peace – a struggle that continues today. This book pays witness to the exhumation and identification of approximately 20,000 victims of ethnic cleansing; the widows of Srebrenica, who lost more than 7,000 men to the July 1995 massacre by Serbs; refugee families who return to rebuild homes and villages destroyed in the war; the youth of Sarajevo; and the many Bosnians who bear the emotional and physical scars of war, including the 3K Sarajevo wheelchair basketball team. Throughout, Terry explores everyday life in Bosnia, searching for the moments that illumine the promise and the contradictions of a post-conflict society. In today’s global community, issues of aftermath are increasingly relevant and urgent. War does not teach us about peace. That half of the tale unfolds only in its aftermath, where the painful and promising work of true peacekeeping begins.

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