The Siege of Sarajevo remains the longest siege in modern European history, lasting three times longer than the Battle of Stalingrad and over a year longer than the Siege of Leningrad.
In this event, Reporting the Siege of Sarajevo provides the first detailed account of the reporting of this siege and the role that journalists played in highlighting both military and non-military aspects of it. The book draws on detailed primary and secondary material in English and Bosnian, as well as extensive interviews with international correspondents who covered events in Sarajevo from within siege lines. It also includes hitherto unpublished images taken by the co-author and award-winning photojournalist Paul Lowe.
On April 8, 2021, Paul and co-author Kenneth Morrison joined in conversation with VII photographers and co-founders who covered the siege — Ron Haviv and Christopher Morris.
Kenneth Morrison: Let’s begin with the session. Today we’re talking about the book Reporting the Siege of Sarajevo, which was co-authored by myself, and Paul Lowe. We came to the idea of writing the book about three and a half years ago now. So it’s been three years in the making three years’ worth of research essentially has gone into the book, and why were you motivated to write such a book? Well, my own observation was that I previously written a book about the Holiday Inn, Sarajevo’s front-line hotel, which of course was the place where many journalists stayed during the siege of Sarajevo. And of course, what was particularly interesting about the Holiday Inn, and even within texts of war hotels, was that it was within siege lines. And not only within siege lines, it was only a matter of a few 100 meters from an active frontline, which made it a very interesting case study. When writing that book, I realized that the Holiday Inn of course, was only part of the story, and Paul and I decided together to author basically a history of the reporting of the siege. So the book in itself is kind of divided into six sections, the first of which looks at the political context of the siege so what the conditions were within Bosnia Herzegovina, well, but then the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia Herzegovina, and within Sarajevo itself, at prior to the the outbreak of war, and the fifth or sixth of April, some scholars say the fifth of April, because it was, of course, the day in which there were the shootings, on the Verbania bridge on the sixth of April, where there was shootings, from the Holiday Inn into the crowd of peace demonstrators outside the Bosnian parliament. So the only chapter looks at the political context of the siege and then we look at the early months of the siege, because what’s interesting about those early months, is that there was no kind of established infrastructure. In fact, there was not not even one soul hotel that the journalists stayed in there, they were staying in various places around the city. And in mid-May 1992, many of the international journalists actually left Sarajevo because they were based in the hotel Bosnia and Ilija. And when that that hotel complex at fighting became very intense that I’m there, many of them departed for split, in fact, in the middle of May, and really between the middle of May and and the middle of June. There were very few foreign correspondents and photographers based in Sarajevo where there were a few but there were not in the significant numbers that later were this summer, in winter of 1992 in the beginning of 1993. So then, we look at the emergence of what became a kind of reporting infrastructure. The Holiday Inn reopened at the end of June 1992, the European Broadcasting Union, the EBU established a satellite feed point in the in the TV station, the United Nations were based in the PTT building, where they were told these daily news briefings and so forth.
Kenneth: The airport was reopened after Francois Mitterrand’s visit to Sarajevo on the 28th of June 1992. So we start to see the beginning of this building of an infrastructure that journalists can use within the sieged city. Then we can move on to talk about what it was like for foreign correspondents and photographers to function within the city operating within a city under siege. And in this chapter, we look quite a bit at the emergence of the so-called Sarajevo Agency Pool, which emerged in the summer of 1992, which was basically a kind of ad hoc organization that guaranteed that journalists or TV cameraman could basically share footage so that you know, not so many of them had to be put in situations of real danger. So Sarajevo Agency Pools are particularly interesting aspects of how journalists functioned in the city but what was also very interesting and what we also wrote about and Paul’s gonna talk a little bit more about in a moment is the, the developments in digital technology during this time because they’re the kind of transformation in terms of the way that people worked in 1992, in 1995, was quite significant. So in 1992, just to give one example, satellite phones were extremely expensive and very heavy. And you know, individuals didn’t tend to own them it was the agencies that owned them, it was very expensive to use them. By late 94, about 1995, people are beginning to work more with digital technology, things are becoming much more portable and it kind of alters the way that people are, are working on the ground. Towards the end of the book, we also look at the relationship that many of the journalists and on photo journalists developed with with Sarajevo as a city, the experiences they had there and the relationship that they developed throughout their time, because what’s particularly interesting about Sarajevo is that so many journalists and photojournalists who work there during the siege, maintained a close relationship with the city thereafter, in a way that was, you know, not the case with other conflicts somehow with with Sarajevo and with Bosnia Herzegovina, and many of the those that reported from there during the war, maintained a very close relationship with the people and the city and the country thereafter. So that’s a kind of general overview of the of the book. It was fascinating to write. We had limited availability of sources because of course, while there’s lots of newspapers and all those loads of primary and secondary sources, much of this book had to be put together by interviewing the participants. So we interviewed something in the region of 100 journalists, photojournalist, cameraman, satellite engineers, drivers and translators, stringers, people that were all involved in the whole process of reporting the siege. And both Paul and I think we conducted about 40 or 50 of these interviews each and it gave us I think, I think the book gives a real sense of what it was like two reports from within besieged Sarajevo between from (Audio cuts out f0r a few seconds) Paul.
Paul: Thanks, Ken. I think we lost a couple of your lines that the end was a little bit of distortion, I think. But, but thanks very much. Yes, so let me just get my slideshow going. Okay, great. And you’re seeing that full screen on you’re not not seeing my presenters. Yes. So this is the cover of the book and we will give you a discount code as well. Unfortunately, it is published as an academic textbook, and therefore the cover price is quite high but we decided that 35% discount code for it, which will help a little bit for those of you that would be interested in buying it.
Ron Haviv: Currently, we’re not..
Kenneth: I can’t see the cover on my screen.
Paul: Are you seeing it now? You seeing it now?
Paul: So let me just see if I’m actually showing my slides. Sorry. I may just gone to PowerPoint and forgotten to share the screen. Apologies for that this person that spends all their time teaching online. just forgot to actually share the screen that was not very sensible was it may try again. Sorry about that. There we go. And are you seeing it? Now you’re seeing it full screen? Great. Yes. Perfect.
Paul: Can’t seem to navigate through now. So there we go. Sorry. Yeah. So just to give you a little bit of geographical context, for those of you that do well are not aware of the layout of the city, Sarajevo was a very unusual city and that it’s up in the mountains. It’s in the valley of the river, the outskirts and it’s a sort of a long steam almost sausage of a city with the center, the old town, the Ottoman part and the Austro-Hungarian at one end of the valley, and then further down the valley towards the airport, are the sort of socialist period tower blocks that you that were built during the teeter era. And I was very struck with my own work at a certain point, that this sort of typography or geography the city wasn’t really very well known to people. So I did a whole series of panoramas that I’m just going to show you some of us were talking because I was really fascinated by the texture as it were of the destruction, the the aesthetic or most of the way that these tower blocks and buildings and the barricades and so on have been constructed and have been destroyed by heavy weapons but this gives you a little bit of that perspective. It was taken quite close to the front lines. And it gives you some sense of how the Serb forces besieging the city in the hills above, literally had the whole city in their hand. And this is also a contemporary map that was made that just shows how close the front lines were to the center of the city. And more or less than the middle area, you can see that sort of bulge of the red line is where the hotel, the Holiday Inn Hotel was situated, which is kind of sad was a sort of focal point for so many of the journalists and the media, but also the humanitarian organizations and the aid workers in the UN and so on. And it was it was it was almost like a medieval castle, sort of situated at a fulcrum as it were at a very important location because it marked the point, the transition, as it were between the center of the city where a lot of the administrative spaces were and also, you know, a lot of the reasons people wanted to come into the center, and new Sarajevo were a lot the apartment blocks where lots of people lived. So people had to go through this kind of choke point, as it were, of sniper alley, the infamous sniper alley, which is obviously very, very dangerous and people literally risked their lives to get from one part of the city for the other. And there are all sorts of defenses that city inhabitants put together. This is a sniper screen that was that was put across the street to prevent people so you didn’t have to put a bulletproof screen up. You just had to stop the snipers being able to see people. And the devastation obviously caused by small arms and heavier weapons on the frontlines was was pretty extraordinary. But there’s a strange kind of aesthetic almost to the siege. This is a barricade that was that was put up, mixing together, you know trucks and containers and sheets of concrete. This is the inside of the agitator which was the town hall it was destroyed, beautiful Ottoman period town hall that was destroyed by incendiary bombs at the orders of the Serb forces at the beginning of the siege. And this is the line cemetery where lots of the lots of the which was a park that was turned into a cemetery overnight because the main cemeteries were too dangerous for people to go to. So as Kenneth said, You know what, in the book we talk about some of the key features of what makes the Bosnian conflict and particularly siege of Sarajevo, so important we arguing in the history of journalism. And the Holiday Inn was a crucial part of that, because it’s a place where, you know, journalists could come together, they could stay obviously, they could get power, they could get water, they could get food, and very importantly, they could talk to other people, they could meet other journalists and find out what was happening. This is David Rieff, Susan Sontag’s son, talking to another reporter in the lobby of the hotel and service carried on in the hotel, it was very bizarre that you would have waiters in bow ties, serving you what little food that they could, they could rustle up on the black market and so on. Whilst the shelling was happening outside. This is Janine de Giovanni here talking to another reporter. This is John Burns with Reuters, photographer Chris Helgren, and Martin Doris from the BBC talking over dinner and you can see the cigarette packets and the glasses of water and, and so on. Michael Montgomery here, and
Michael Montgomery here and Charlotte Eager being served a rather thin soup that was given out at the hotel and Charlotte, you know, having her lunch wearing her helmet. Charlotte was one of the key interviewees that we had, she was a reporter for the observer. And I think one of the things that this picture really encapsulates for me is this idea of this generation of young reporters, stringers. superstringers, like photographers like myself, and I think Ron would agree, Chris, who will talk with you in a moment was the sort of generation above us who was more experienced and seen more of these sorts of situations. But for a group of us who were in our mid 20s, from the point of view of writers a lot the would base themselves in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Romanian revolution, and they become sort of specialists in the Balkan or the Eastern European region. And, you know, they really became captured by the story, because it was an incredible story to tell it literally every corner of the city had its own story, you would meet incredible people, and the story of how the civilian population survived the siege how they found all sorts of ways to to get food to get water to get power to find firewood, just the the incredible human story was really, really powerful really captured people’s imaginations. And that’s I think one of the reasons that kept this generation of journalists coming back there and kind of, in a strange way, sort of falling in love with the city and its inhabitants and the story and as Kenneth talked about there, there was a lot of attention between the authorities, the UN and humanitarian organizations and the media, because there was very clearly you know, the media the reporters, photographers on the ground, we were seeing very clear evidence of war crimes, of attacks on civilians or bombardment of the city. And obviously out in the rest of Bosnia, even more horrific things happening in places like Prijedor and Bijeljina, and so on. And we were telling a story that this wasn’t this was a war of aggression, a very clear attack on civilians but the narrative has been put forward by governments, particularly Western governments in Paris, and in New York, and in London, was that this was this ancient ethnic hatreds. And it was the Balkans, and everyone was to blame, and all sides are equally guilty, and you couldn’t intervene, because it’d become another Vietnam and etc, etc, etc. So it was a real misfit, if you like, between the narrative that journalists were putting forward, and the narrative that the governments were putting forward. And therefore, and also, we were calling, I think, almost unanimously as a press call for some form of intervention, or for some for sort form of organized attempt by the UN or by NATO, to bring the war to a close and to bring humanitarian assistance to the people that needed it. And that was, that obviously didn’t happen. So there was a huge moral crisis, I would argue, or we argue, in the book in journalism, because, you know, the fundamental idea, that you tell the story, well enough and loud enough that people will do something about it, people respond to it was kind of negated in some ways by the war in Bosnia, because, you know, Ron took photographs in, you know, on March and April 1992, that should absolutely clear evidence of paramilitary executions being were carried out on the streets Sarajevo. And it didn’t really make any great difference or intervention didn’t come and we all know that they were carried on for many, many years after that, and hundreds of 1000s of people were killed. So there was a real crisis of moral crisis, if you like in journalism, which led to a lot of debates within journalism around what is the role of the journalist. And this idea of the journalism of attachment that was fought put forward by Martin Bell, this idea that you that in the face of genocide or war crimes, trying to be even handed and give both sides an equal, equal amount of airtime, as it were, is not ethically acceptable. It’s actually you know, neutrality, you can’t be neutral in the face of genocide. So we talk a lot about those things in the book as well, I’m sure we can return some of those themes in the discussion. And then as as, as Kenneth said when the other key themes of that period, that decade of the 90s is the shift from analog to digital, and Bosnia, kind of the siege of Sarajevo sits right in the middle of that doesn’t quite get to the digital age in terms of cameras, but it certainly gets the digital age in terms of reporting, transmitting and being able to transmit from the field. This is a room in the Holiday Inn, and satellite phones were becoming more widespread, although obviously at the time, they were still pretty large, suitcase sized, very heavy devices. But it did mean that you could communicate with the outside world without having to go through landlines is Chris Helgren, in the Reuters office with the satellite dish up. And obviously live television broadcasts became possible.
Paul: This is Kay (last name) the BBC reporter doing a live two way towards the end of the war. But having said that, one of the problems with this was the tyranny of the two way, this idea that TV and radio reporters particularly was so tied to doing live stand ups pretty much on the hour every hour, but they didn’t have enough time to actually go out and report the story that they were trying to tell. And one of the things that we talked about, is what you might call the safe securitization or the self protection, or arguably the amortization, or professionalization of conflict reporting, at the beginning of the war, you know, we were driving around in soft cars. This was a Vauxhall Carlton from the BBC, it had been just a regular BBC sort of staff car in London that was used to drive around kind of various VIPs. But it was then sent to Bosnia at the end of its kind of normal working life, and was used by the BBC at the beginning of the war, but you can see how vulnerable this is the windows have all been shot out. People are wearing pretty minimal body armor. But by the end of the war, you know, BBC, Reuters, AP, Chris, Chris Morris himself was quite instrumental in bringing in heavily armored Land Rovers, jeeps, and other forms of transport, you know, with Kevlar armor that had full protection, at least against sort of small arms obviously wouldn’t stop a very large caliber weapon, but it would stop small arms and they were relatively mine resistant and obviously also at the same time, things like training in high risk environments and first aid and kidnapping. So there’s this sense of a sort of professionalization of the securitization of journalism that really was very evident as one of the key things that happened during the conflict in Bosnia. And then obviously, something else we talked about quite a lot in the book are some of the moral ethical dilemmas faced by reporters, and particularly by photographers in the field when we’re working because proximity, proximity to suffering, and emotion is very, obviously very much part of what photographers have to do. And, you know, the was a sort of ritual almost, of covering the conflict at certain points of going, you know, waiting for if shelling was happening or sniping going to the morgue, photographing bodies in the morgue, going to funerals, you know, obviously, we are looking for those those charged moments. Most of the time, I would argue, journalists were accepted, and we were welcomed to work there, although there were moments particularly towards the end of the siege, when it did start to become increasingly problematic, because you know, nothing had happened, what was the value of what we were doing? And people were questioning that, and obviously, was some really key moments, which I think we’ll touch on, in a moment, when we talked to Chris, where it was very difficult to do one’s job because what we were seeing was just so difficult to deal with. And so distressing. I’m not going to spend long with this picture. I’m just going to show it very briefly. And then I’ll move back. But this is a picture taken by Enric Martin of the death of them, (name) who was a young boy who was shot through the head, as mother was shot by a sniper, the bullet passed through her body and killed him in November 1994, on sniper alley, literally right in front of the Holiday Inn. And, you know, the ethics of representation of situations like that is definitely something that think we have to, we covered. We talked about quite a lot. And I think the war in Bosnia raised all sorts of very difficult questions around what is the role of the journalist in covering these kinds of conflicts? So Kenneth, I think I’ll leave it there for myself for now. We can hand over to Ron, I believe.
Kenneth: Yeah, Paul, thank you very much. Indeed, that was really interesting. And I should have mentioned that one of the things we also talked about in the book that you did touch upon, it was the kind of resistance in Western governments to taking any action in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And, of course, famously, the British Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, referred to the journalists as something must be done club. There was, you know, liberal journalists who were calling for intervention but in fact, didn’t understand the hard realities of geopolitics and so forth. And as Paul says, this is something we covered in some depth in the book. I wanted to move on now to bring in Ron, Ron Haviv, because there’s, as Paul mentioned, Ron’s photographs, and very well known photographs, of course, that he took in Bijeljina at the beginning of the the conflict in March and April 1992. Visceral images of what was going on in that particular town, at the time was attacked by Arkan’s tiger’s, Arkan, is a parliamentary leader, Serbian Parliamentmilitary leader who was active in in Croatia and later in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ron took some incredible images of what went on in that particular time, during I think it was the end of March, beginning of April. But Ron was also in Sarajevo, throughout much of the duration of the siege, in fact, quite uniquely reported on the beginning and the end of the siege. And I wondered if we might start Ron by talking about your experiences in Sarajevo on those days, the fifth and sixth of April of 1992, when the siege, in essence began, because you took those very famous images of the shots, being fired from the Holiday Inn by snipers wanting to the Serbian Democratic Party of Vladimir (name). And you were actually on that when that was taking place. So what was your kind of recollection about that particular day, on the sixth of April, when you were photographing the crowd standing outside the Bosnian parliament?
Ron Haviv: Well, I’ll just share some, there a couple pages from from my new book Shadow of Memory, which goes into some detail on on that day. And actually, the book is, the idea for this particular book is to look at kind of images that people know from this crisis, but also some of the images that haven’t been seen before. And so I arrived, I had been in Bijeljina for what I consider the official start of the war on April 2, when Arkan and his men started executing Bosnian civilians. And after I had taken those photographs, I realized that I needed to go somewhere else because my life was going to be in danger once those photographs were published. So I decided to go to Sarajevo, with the understanding the tensions and so on, we’re rising in Sarajevo, but not really having a true understanding of what was going on, I arrived on the afternoon of April 5th, and there was a very odd energy in the city. Some people already starting to leave the city, the bus station, and the buses were filled with people leaving, I guess people that felt things were turning in a different way that kind of foresaw what was going to happen. And then there was this announcement and understanding that there was going to be a peace march, a march for the presentation of what they were then calling Yugoslavia what the parts of Yugoslavia that were remaining after Croatia and Slovenia had already succeeded earlier. And 1000s of people came out onto the streets, many holding old Yugoslav flags, photographs of Tito, who was the kind of mythologically loved leader who was actually a dictator, but basically had kept this concept of Yugoslavia, which was all the different ethnic groups living together, in quote, unquote, harmony and success, and people were hoping that Bosnia would not go the same way as Croatia did. And, they came out on the streets to show their support. And so it was, in the beginning, I could very just very large demonstration, very peaceful, good energy, a lot of young people, and so on, and as a crowd moved past the Bosnian Parliament, and the Holiday Inn, which was across the street from the parliament, shots rang out from what we later or quickly understood, were coming from above, above which were coming from the hotel from some floor, in the hotel, onto the crowd, and people started to take cover, as you see here, the couple on the left are actually hiding. That’s the wall or stairs in the parliament, walls in the parliament on the outside, and they’re trying to protect themselves. And then this other photograph of people, ducking for cover, and kind of all everybody kind of looking upward to towards where the firing was. And these are a series of different photographs taken all on on April 6, kind of telling the story in different ways and there were a lot of different things going on. From the march, to people being wounded, to people trying to one Bazin forces loyal to the Bosniak Muslims trying to go and stop. The people that were firing, who later were determined to be part of the Serbian political party firing on the orders of the political leader, Radovan Karadži? from the Holiday Inn onto the ground. And eventually they went into the hotel, they stopped the firing. And there was this kind of a moment of celebration.
Ron: And you see in some of these photographs, people celebrating with the police and soldiers and so on, and they thought that was it, they thought that that was the conflict. That was what everybody been waiting for. The conflict was now over, they had captured the assailants, and everything was going to be okay. And of course, little did anybody know that that actually was not the end. But it was actually was actually the beginning. So there was a very odd energy that was going on throughout throughout that day. And nobody really understood exactly what was what was happening, and what was going to happen next. And one thing that people knew was that had the Serbian army from Serbia itself or the militarization of the Serbian side, on the Bosnian side if they decided to come in with heavy equipment, tanks and so on, that there wasn’t enough defense corps to to really protect, protect Sarajevo. And many people, including myself thought that the city would fall quite quickly if there was a real attack. And myself and many of us were wrong, and that the city itself, gathered together first being defended by the local mafia in different groups who fought against Serbs making incursions into the city until they eventually were able to organize themselves into a defense between defensive line and protect the majority of the city and they and the city of course, never found the city did get split in different sections. And one part of the city, an area known as Grupavita, was split and taken over controlled by the Serbian side. Another the part that Kenneth referred to earlier suburb, Elysia was also taken over by the Serbian side. So you also had refugees or displaced people moving back and forth in those early days. And what was very interesting and when you look back on it, whether by design or by accident, that the whole world’s attention after April 6, about what was going on in Bosnia became synonymous with Sarajevo. So as the Serbs started to fire into the city with tanks and shells and snipers and so on, everybody was like, what is happening in Sarajevo? Meanwhile, on the whole north eastern corridor of, of Bosnia, Serbian forces paramilitaries and so on, were ethnically cleansing 1000s and 1000s of people from their homes. And the majority of the world if not all, the world’s media, either were not allowed to, or just were not interested in documenting what was happening, because everybody’s attention was focused on what was happening in Syria. And then moving to to the last day, because I decided how I’ve been since I was in Bosnia from day one, I was going to see it through through the end. And like Chris spent a lot of time going back and forth to Bosnia. And as the Americans came in, you know, came in to basically enforce the Dayton Peace Agreements, which ended the war, the city became reunified with Grupavita, and Elysia, and you started to see all these different parts of the city especially as, as Western journalists, what we were able to were not able to document during the war, on the Serbian side, all of a sudden opened up in Europe as a kind of see that not only was the Sarajevo section of the city run by Bosnians, badly damaged, but also drove by Bealida was badly damaged. And one of the things that happened was that the Bosnian Serb leadership wanted to make sure that no Serb lived under Muslim rule made a statement that all Serbs had to leave Sarajevo, and those that didn’t want to leave were basically burned out of their homes. So you had Serbian arsonists, burning out Serbs, who had decided that they were tired of the work and wanted to go back to living with their, with their brethren and their leadership, their political leadership wouldn’t allow them to do that. So the last days, sort of the reunification of Sarajevo were quite chaotic, with lots of different things happening. And you would have serious scenes like in the cemetery, Serbs would be going to the cemetery to dig up their ancestors to put their coffins on tractors and take them out of Sarajevo to their new homes, while you had young people, as you see in some of these photographs, being arrested for burning Serbs out of homes, as you had Bosnians coming into reclaim homes that they had lost for years earlier, and so on. And it was very chaotic end to war. And I think in some ways, the chaos that ended this war still exists today in Bosnia, where they’re unable to kind of move past some of the images that you see here.
Kenneth: That’s absolutely fascinating. I must say we’ve had a number of questions coming in asking, when the book is going to be available? Because some of those images, for example, even though I’ve trolled through the archives, of all of the available images of the sixth of April, outside the holiday, and I haven’t seen some of those images. So I know that there’s a great interest in your book, can you tell us when it might be available for people to buy?
Ron: We’re going to print in Sarajevo relatively soon, and we’ll have an announcement on VII when people can buy when they can buy the book.
Kenneth: Okay, so we can look forward to that. That’s That’s really interesting. Ron, I mean, you were there at the beginning and at the end of the siege, you must have seen a terrific transformation of a negative transformation, of the the experience of ordinary citizens living in Saudi Arabia. And I wanted here to bring in Christopher, because I know that a number of you witnessed the number of events in Sarajevo in which civilians were directly targeted by by snipers within the city. And I think one of the one of the things we do deal with in the book is the experience of ordinary citizens and just how, in a sense, brutal, the siege was that there was no military logic, other than to starve and to intimidate the population and submission. And one of the interviews that really, when I was reading the interview really made an impact on me was was Christopher’s interview. And I wondered, Christopher whether you might tell us a little bit about your own experiences is sorry, how you came to the port from there when you first arrived in the city, and what your experiences subsequently were there?
Christopher Morris: Well, as I don’t know, most won’t know I went through.. Am I unmuted here? Yeah, I went through the basically the whole creation the first split up and so Ron, even was in Zagreb and received a call from Ron from Belgrade that to get to Belgrade because the next day they were going to be going into Bijeljina. But I didn’t want I did not want to believe that. I was just trying to from the horrors that I witnessed in the Croatian war. I wasn’t really prepared to throw myself into it. But that started the whole incident at the Holiday Inn and I immediately raised, I got myself to, to Belgrade and through contacts that Ron and I had made with the JNA the Yugoslav army, I had some officers name, I was able to get myself on a captured creation military DC-10 And I flew into Sarajevo for the evacuation of the Serbs and we first flew to Banja Luka and we picked up young fighters to fly into the city. I had a letter from most people don’t know this part of the story, but I flew into Sarajevo on this unmarked captured DC 10 to pick up civilians arrived at the airport, it was completely the crowds were outside. It looked to me like I don’t know 5,000-10,000 people all at the fences trying to get in to be evacuated out from the airport. I remember, at the time, it was my my translator, the woman I had met that kind of made me not want to do war. She had helped arrange me and we had flown down we’ve got off the plane and we had this letter and we reached the top of the stairs immediately grabbed by some officers and they basically tore the letter up and they says this is not Yugoslavia. This is the Serbs Republic was doing or whatever, and they kicked us out. They brought us out and kicked us out of the fence line. And it was picked up by there was a journalist ,Julio, and is this beat up, shot up, soft car and we drove into Elysia in the hotel, when the minute we got the hotel, the hotel was under attack was under attack on all sides. And we kind of spent that next night and the day we didn’t even we didn’t even bring toothbrushes, I was flying down for Time magazine to do the evacuations of the Serbs. They wouldn’t let me photograph they wanted to take my cameras at the airport, they were very aggressive. They were very aggressive at this American getting off the plane working for Time Magazine, it was basically Who the fuck are you? We don’t care, you know, basically. And you saw the population they were afraid they had what bad, it was like what you saw in the 1940s in Europe evacuation of a population but my point now, it’s about my survivability. I brought this woman here and where are we going to sleep? Where are we going to go? The next day, we made it into Syria, but we crossed into the lines and it was like this weird atmosphere was almost like a cafe atmosphere was a bright sunny day, like before war. But you could see it was like gangs, gangs of fighters, you know, Juca was there I was introduced to Juca and that this, anybody would know Sarajevo history will know who Juca is, invited to take us around and all that. But my thing was to try to get out and get back and come prepared. So I went back and then hooked up with a couple other photographers, we drove back to Sarajevo, you know, in May that time period, when you said there were no journalists there, that’s when I went back. And that’s when the first market thing. So I don’t want to I don’t want to get get long into it. But I ended up staying to the war. But from day one, I was already burned out. I was burned out in the first six months of the war. And you talk about this amortization of journalists, it became eventually became a survivability. I went back to Time Magazine after working, you know, that that first year in Sarajevo, it’s like, we can’t work like this, you know, you can’t move where friends are getting killed weekly. People losing their balls, losing their legs, losing their faces. You know, it was horrid. You know, so it was dangerous. So that the whole survivability but there were a whole group of young journalists that didn’t have the resources of corporations and companies to provide them armor, armor vehicles, Ron and I were talking in the Croatian war that we needed to get armored vehicles. We were already researching it during the Croatian war because you’ve crossed us as photographers. You can’t photograph from 100 meters. You can’t photograph from 20 meters, you’ve got a photograph from five meters. And you’re basically putting yourself with men trying to kill men. And this brings me to the basis this whole bit of how do you document horror? How do you expose?How do you change pictures of people in breadlines, pictures of people running across temporality has had no effect had no effect.
Christopher: Ron’s picture, that people lying on the ground being kicked by a guy with a cigarette has no effect. So and for me, going back to my youth of wanting to become a war photographer, just go back, and, you know, I’m from that I grew up in the 70s, you know, as a child and as a teenager, very connected to the whole Vietnam War. You know, lived in Asia, my father was involved with it. And all of a sudden Apocalypse Now comes out. Watch that 10 times in a movie theater, and listen to Marlon Brando, Colonel Kurtz. Listen to him talk about war. It’s fucking horror. So I’m gonna, so for me this whole bit of how do you how do you shock? Me when when you photograph everything but the basic is the the horror of man to basically mutilate their neighbors. And that, that, that that whole bit of why would you go into the morgue? why would invade people’s spaces? Why would you hang out at the hospital? You know, we’re like, the dirty birds, the vultures. No, for me, it’s I need to shock. And the initial phase is to be able to shock the editor, is the editor going to publish it? And there was the incident in January and before, you know, this war had been going on for years. And Clinton was on TV saying that there’s no humanitarian crisis. Waters getting in, there’s food. And to me, it wasn’t the food, it was like, children are getting their, you know, faces ripped off. But nobody, nobody is going to publish it. So I don’t know if you guys can see my screen. It’s just a folder. I didn’t know I was going to show anything. So I just have Yes, in a sense. So I don’t know, does this image show up big?
Kenneth: That shows this is, Chris, just to contextualize this is the image from Sarajevo in 1994.
Christopher: January, January 2nd, 1994. I had already I had already been there a month. I’ve already been there 45 days. You know, I would go in and try to stay a month or two months until I couldn’t take it and I go, you can see my armored car in the background there. We had heard on the radios, you talked about this stereo agency pool. You had these walkie talkies and I had scanners, I even had scanners, I had all the UN frequencies I had the Bosnian frequencies I had scanners. So we heard this but the time we got that they had scooped the children out of the snow and this I the can was there. It’s like so obvious looks like a setup picture. Like somebody threw that there but and, yeah. So how to do it, how to photograph the scene and why do these pictures?
Kenneth: I mean, I think..
Christopher: The pure horror for me is the fact it went on for so long. You know? And, yeah, this was the this is when the parents when the father and grandfather came into identify, his kid, you know, and I’m not going to show the harder ones and then says later the funeral. But it was my it was my breaking point. It was my breaking point for the whole war.
Kenneth: I mean, that’s it. As you see it was..
Christopher: I screamed, I screamed, I call I’m going to stop share. I actually, I went up to the PTT and I called Time Magazine. And I said, give me the editor in Washington, give me the main editor, what to say? Yeah, it’s like there is a few men because two of them had their faces removed. A girl in the boy did not have their face and you could see the backside of the skull, its horror, you know, and how to shoot photography? It’s moral judgment to make people examine moral judgment. What morality do you have as a human being? And that’s what photography can do. You need to shock their moral judgment. How can you stand for this anything? Syrian boy washed up on a beach the power of photography we’re not vultures its a very difficult craft to do. You know, and I’ll kind of ended on that and that’s why I’ve avoided I didn’t go back to Sarajevo till just when the Academy opened, I avoided the place for over 20 years because it’s a painful place but the people there, the people that live through it know exactly what it is. But the thing is, what are they teaching their children there? What is what is going on there now?
Kenneth: Well as Ron made reference to when when when he ended his contribution there, then, you know, to an extent these problems still exist because..
Christopher: Politicians, hatred deep hatred, or we could act we could all deep back to our ancestry even in our country going back. Yeah, the Confederacy everything with its like politicians know how to spin hatred. You know? And they, they do it and they do it for power, you know?
Kenneth: Yeah, I mean, certainly in the case of Bosnia Herzegovina, I mean, the Dayton agreement was agreed, great way of stopping the war, but it wasn’t an effective blueprint for building a functioning state, and I think that’s been improved. And Ron made reference to that at the end by saying, you know, to a certain extent, those problems still exist in Bosnia, where, you know, some of the fundamental issues that were that underpinned the war in 1992, still remains somewhat, you know, problematic or unresolved to this very day. So, Christopher, that was that was really fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing that, and for sharing those, you know, visceral images of that event, which I remember writing about in the book in early 1994 in early (name). And, yeah, we have a number of questions and answers, shall we move on to the Q&A session now? Because I think we don’t have a tremendous amount of time. I think we’ve got about 25 minutes left to take Q&A from the audience. So I will begin that process. And there was one question for Paul actually, about what…
Paul: Kenneth, I think we lost you a second. Unfortunately.
Ron: Dramatic Pause. Yeah.
Paul: Frozen. Looks like it might have been the question about what camera did I use, which I did answer in the in the chat. But I mean, that that that was a period, when I’ve been photographing, like, like everybody else, you know, the rituals, as I said earlier, on the daily rhythms of the city and people’s, you know, everyday lives, you know, collecting firewood, collecting water, day to day, the morgue, the hospital, the incredible work that was there was being carried out by the by the doctors, in saving people’s lives in the hospital with no anaesthetic, and no electricity, and no facilities, and so on and so forth. But but there’s a certain point when you’ve kind of almost exhausted that that visually, as well as emotionally. And that’s why in 1994, I took this Fuji 617 panoramic camera, and the Hasselblad square format camera and a tripod, and there was a period when there were a series of sort of more or less successful ceasefires, that meant that certain areas, the city opened up that you couldn’t have gone to before because you would have been, you know, killed some of the frontline areas, particularly around Dervanta (spelling?). Yeah and that gave me an opportunity to spend a bit more time out on the streets than you would do normally, because it was that little bit safer. And so I spent, you know, the best part of that winter sort of 94-95 out with shooting landscapes of the devastation, and destruction. And which was a very interesting process, I was really fascinated, as I said, by the structure, by the way that these barricades have been built and designed, in some cases, as it turned out, and by the aesthetic of destruction. And just by the sheer sort of devastation caused by heavy weapons and snipers in the ways that the city had tried to resist that, and what was very useful when I took it to show to editors, you know, I showed that series, remember to one picture to a particular back in London. And, you know, this is somebody who, by that point, you know, two or three years into the conflict would have seen 1000s and 1000s of photographs and you know, dozens of television reports, and particularly that picture that panorama, remember them look at that say, wow, is that is that what the city looks like? I’d never realized that. So that really struck me that in a way, it’s a real sort of metaphor for how in the media, very often, we actually don’t really get that contextualization, that bigger picture, we get this little narrow focus on a street corner, or one person’s life, which is obviously very, very important. But very often we don’t step back and give that broader context and set the scene more sort of widely than that. And a little bit of, I suppose, shameless self promotion, but I’ve just opened an exhibition at the Historical Museum of Bosnia Herzegovina in the center of Sarajevo that I work with quite a lot of that series of landscape pictures, where we’ve printed them up on pretty much the largest we could possibly print them on to this mesh material. So it’s an outdoor exhibition on the plaza in front of the museum. prints are 3.2 meters high and 9.6 meters long mounted onto sort of internal wooden frame. So they create these, almost like the size of a shipping container structures schemed with the pictures. And they do look, I have to say so myself pretty extraordinary at that scale, because for some of the images, it’s almost one to one. It’s if you’re standing, literally in front of the scene, as I saw it back in, in the 90s. So I think that was the answer the question because we lost your your audio for a second there, Kenneth, but I did. If that’s, I hope that was answered the question. Yeah.
Kenneth: Yeah, you lost me entirely for a second it did, unfortunately. Yeah. Thank you, Paul. I’ve got a question next for Ron, actually, from from one of the audience who says that they’ve seen your presentations a few times but it’s the first time that that you talked about the local mafia, working to protect the city. And did you document them and were they a sizable force within the city? So I assume this is referring to Juka Prazina and these, you know, armed criminal gangs who were defending Sarajevo in the early days of the siege. So Ron, did you? I mean, did you manage to document some of those?
Ron: That’s really a question for Chris, I didn’t really spend much time with them to Chris’s already referenced..
Christopher: I spent around a week, I don’t know if you can hear me, I spent around a week with Juka. He’d go around out handout candy, some coke, juices, He’d ride around in and out of he was all banged up. He still had pins in his body. He was hit by, from the hills at the day at the Holiday Inn thing. I think his group, he was pretty shot up. So but he would drive around, you know, 160 kilometers an hour. His men would go through apartment flats and break in. And I went with him. I photographed his men breaking into Serbian apartments stealing all this stuff, but they would go and they would distribute it, sell it. They were they were an integral part of the defense of the city. They’re the ones that kind of helped form those budges, if not, the city easily should have been overrun. People have to realize in the center, just over from the Holiday Inn was the JMA barracks that was surrounded, they were trapped. And so that was the whole kind of like, danger part was right, right around there. So yeah. In all wars, look, even with the Middle East, even its government sponsored mafia, you know, that’s kind of what happens in war.
Paul: I mean, you know, you have to remember that the beginning of the conflict, the Republican Serb forces, were basically given all of the weaponry, the heavy weaponry of the JMA. And they were predominantly an organized military force that had tanks and heavy artillery..
Christopher: And, and that’s where Juka would get his weapons from he would buy it from the Serbs, buy it from the JMA, he would buy it from the compound right there. They’ve got their neighbor who’s now trapped in the barracks and he’s got all this boxes and stuff, who can go in and get it out? It’s Juka.
Paul: And on the other hand, is Chris said, the the defenders, the Bosnian defenders, let’s see, there were various ad hoc groups that formed there were the Green Berets, there were some groups that formed from the Islamic community and there were a number of basically criminal gangs that had operated in the Yugoslav period, you know, where they travel abroad and carry out various kind of petty crime and bank robberies, and so on, and formed around our leaders. So people like Juka and youth go and form because they had a gang, essentially. And they, they took weapons, and they defended the city, along with these other ad hoc forces. And it took quite a while for any formal sort of structured military organization to emerge. You know, there were days I wasn’t there, but I think there was a period in May when there were some critical battles, particularly around the parliament presence building, and there’s a famous story of one attack where the Serbs tried to basically cut the city in half with armored vehicles and there was one Bosnian defender with one RPG and if he hadn’t hit an armored personnel carrier and disable it, and in that attack, which forced the Serbs withdraw it’s very likely they would have kept the city in half and almost certainly the city you know, probably would have fallen after that so it literally came down to one or two guys with improvised weapons that crucial period in May turning turning the tide as it were, and after that the front lines of the day did change they remained relatively stable throughout the rest of the with a couple of exceptions like stoop for example.
Christopher: And that’s where the heaviest shelling took place at the beginning or from the hills was all that area right around the that’s why the units towers caught fire. They were basically trying to get kill everything that was right around their barracks. They, the Serbs were shooting basically over the top of their barracks without hitting their barracks, so that became in that early made this whole kind of epicenter and kind of, but then ended the night just the random. We’re just going to drop mortars we’re just going to drop mortars and then you had that first market market Beliaz, you know that you know the breadline there.
Kenneth: I mean, I think one want just to contextualize the intention of Radovan Karadžic and the Serbian Democratic Party was always in the early days to divide Sarajevo, basically, where the Holiday Inn is. So they would basically take the Holiday Inn, all the way west of the airport would be SDS territory. And, you know, Bosniaks and Croats would get the Austro Hungarian part. And…
Christopher: they lived in the Old Town. Basically, and eventually submit them in the submission, you know, and and they were the Europe just ignored it.
Kenneth: Yeah. You know, we do have a very specific question for you. And on your comments about, you know, how much time you would spend in the city in the in the, you know, even on the first day, it was extremely challenging for you. And one of one of the participants is asked, what length of time away is it adequate, essentially? And is it even possible to be adequately, adequately away, to regroup and return to something like, if it’s to refocus your purpose.
Christopher: It’s individual to anybody that worked there? It was, it was almost like 10% of your effort became work. The other 90% is food, water, shelter, food, water shelter? Because I didn’t always first off in the beginning, there was no Holiday Inn. You didn’t it was not operating. They open it. But did you want to stay there? Did you want to sleep in a building? That’s right on the front line, it’s being shot, you know, you had the front side there, you know, those rooms just became it just it just becomes survivability. You know, you got to make sure you have food, fuel and water. But eventually everything came in and us as journalists, were, you could cross over, you could go go to a leisure, you could go shopping, you could bring stuff back in, you know, for us, so we had, yeah.
Paul: Yeah. I think I think also Kenneth, you have to remember the Bosnia wasn’t happening in isolation, you know, you were within well, Sarajevo wasn’t in isolation. So not only were we covering, so ever, but quite often we were going out to places like Mostar or Vitez. Or I didn’t go there. But Gorazde for example, today, you know, it’s Eastern Bosnia, and so on. And also at the same time Rwanda was happening Palestine. And you know, towards the end of it even Chechnya, so, you know, Somalia, I mean, I covered you know, I went from the beginning of the seeds in June, July 1990, or 92 in August, to Somalia and Chris was there, and Ron was there. So it’s not even that you were recovering from Sarajevo, you know, that that decade was I mean, I know, onwards afterwards, obviously, and was incredibly intense. And so..
Chris: And the industry has changed for journalism back then there was place for independent freelancers to market their material. It is extremely difficult to cover the world the way it was covered that time. It’s a new way. Yeah, it was just it. The industry has changed. It for me it was in a sense, so but it was also extremely difficult because we had logistical. You going, you spend three days overland to get into Sarajevo. But when you shoot film, the early days, there’s no transmission, you have to get your film out. Your editor just says, well, I need you to go out. Well, it just took me three days here and I was almost killed five times. I’m not going out. You’re gonna have to wait and then you would ship your film. As photographers, we would not see our work for months. Is your camera working? Is it focused? Are you overexposed? How much film you have with you? You come in with 100 roles, that’s 3600 image, you have to pace yourself out. You try to get out messages, is anybody coming in? Can anybody bring film out or if you have a journalist leaving you get a pack of film out, just getting materials out until the digital thing and the wires were shooting color negative. But for me, I didn’t want to shoot color negative because of the archiving transparencies, you know, last 80-90 years where color negative will fade much faster. So how we worked was interesting, it’s a generation that’s gone.
Kenneth: It’s really, really interesting. We did we did cover this in the book, Paul wrote a great deal actually about how to get images out of Sarajevo, how to get your film out, but also when the digital it became possible to transmit those images, the problems that were inherent with that. Look, there’s a very important question I want to all of you really to address because I know that we only have 13 minutes left. And this is a question from from James, do you have any advice for future photojournalists, for how to recover emotionally from covering conflicts and disasters? And is there anything that’s an effective way to help process and to help work through that? So, Paul, should we start then, perhaps, Ron, then Chris.
Paul: Yeah, um, I mean, obviously, it’s an N plus one. I mean, we all have our own different strategies. But what helped me a lot was community was having friends, and having people that actually I didn’t need to talk to about the experience, but I just knew that they knew, and not having to kind of go, I mean, talking about it is important. I think that’s a very important part of coming to tell us what you’re experiencing, but then not having to talk about it and feeling okay about that, I think is also very important. And obviously, you know, it’s a little bit of a chicken and egg, you know, the dangers, you end up only spending time with other people that have been through it. But Sarajevo, you know, I live in Sarajevo, most of the time. And, and obviously, that means that lots of my friends, we have that shared experience of having lived through. And it’s very interesting to see how people are responding under COVID, for example, to some of the problems that people are living with, I mean, sadly, the death rate currently in Sarajevo, from COVID, is higher than it was during the siege. So more people are dying every day at the moment in the city at this particular moment, than were being killed at comparable periods during the siege. So I think, for me, anyway, having a net kind of community of people that I could, that knew what knew not to have to ask the questions, if you see the mean, was very important. And I think, you know, having a sense that what you’re doing has a value is also very important. And I think, you know, I think for all three of us, the fact that as we look back our work has, has, I think formed a very important archive of what happened there. And I think that’s true for all photographers, that gives you a certain amount of, sort of retrospective. And I say, satisfaction is one word for it, but sort of a confirmation that you your images have a function and a value, that they’re part of that documentation of that period. And if collectively, we hadn’t documented it, then there would be a big gap in that in that archive. So I think for me looking back, that that gives a certain validation, and gives me a certain strength from that. And also, for me, you know, I covered a lot of, you know, you see a lot of extraordinary, horrible things, but also you seen a lot of extraordinarily magnificent things and brave things. And, you know, I covered the cultural resistance to the city to the siege very heavily, for example. And for me, that was an extraordinary testament to the survivability and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of something like that. And that gave me a lot of reason to keep going back and to be able to deal with with some of the things that I’d seen and experienced.
Kenneth: Thank you, Paul. Ron, what about your coping strategies or mechanisms for dealing with the kinds of things that you’re experiencing when covering conflicts?
Ron: Well, first, I’d say everything that Paul said, I would agree with. And then to add a couple of things on top of that, I think that one that it’s important for you as individual to realize that when you returned from a place of conflict or disaster or something extreme as a photographer, and you go back to your normal life, the acclimation process is incredibly important. And you need to understand that it’s your responsibility to understand that the world of disaster is not normal, your normal world is going to the bank and going to a restaurant and being with your partner and so on. And you have to make a real effort to readjust yourself and not expect other people to adjust to you, I think that is crucial. I think also that given that PTSD, which is what we’re basically talking about, to a large extent has become such an understood result of journalists work in these situations, that there are many organizations out there that are been developed to help you as a journalist. One great one is called The Dark Society is all focused on how to help photographers, journalists that uncovered trauma, and how to be able to move forward from that. And to understand well, there’s without great importance and having a community of friends around you. There could be times and would be times when you should speak with a professional, and there’s no stigma attached to that at all. And that is what used to be when you see this sort of the cliche photographer, war photographer drunk or on drugs or so on, that was their way of coping from Vietnam and so on where there was no understanding that there was psychological ways to help people. There’s no shame in it, we all we all go through it. So if you are experiencing something and your community cannot help you reach out, reach out to these organizations, they’ll connect you, with the right people. It’s quite serious, especially if you do this, using what Paul said, you go from Bosnia, to Somalia, to Chechnya to Rwanda in the space of six months. That’s a lot to witness and document and be part of. So everybody is different, but everybody at some point needs to take a breath and to reevaluate where they are and how they are emotional.
Kenneth: Yeah, thank you, Ron. Chris.
Christopher: Yes, it’s a tough one. Yeah, for me, it’s I didn’t really discover this whole issue of what it was or having PTSD, I definitely know I haven’t, all the things I put myself through, or had put myself through. The most important thing is self examination, especially if you’re asking the question, okay, I’m going to step out and do this line of work. It’s really a self examination of asking yourself, why? What is the purpose? What are you going to do? Because you are going to, you’re going to put your your mental stability into, to the edge just in case of what you can face, and then you’re thrown back into society and society, people don’t care. People don’t care what you’ve seen, people don’t care that you’ve made the decision to go do that. People are worried about their kids going to school, doing their laundry, everybody has their lives. That was the hardest thing for me back in the through the 80s and the 90s. And I was I did it eight-nine months a year, I just did conflict. So I’d come back and I couldn’t understand why people why people weren’t, you know, paying attention. And there was a Feldman, Mike Feldman from AP, and I remember early on, he says, Chris, people don’t care people aren’t gonna, you know, he basically said, what you’re doing is selfish. It’s a selfish business. It’s a selfish industry. And he was one of the first, coming from Mike Feldman, because he had all his star AP photographers everywhere. So, again, it’s about you’re challenging your own morality. You’re, it’s, it’s a stand over, like, the worst experience for me was going to Somalia to cover famine. I did it once and I would never do it. Again, I told myself, I’ll never cover famine, it’s beyond what my mental capability can handle, you have a skeleton, dead, three year old or not dead child clinging to your leg. And all you have is a camera, and you have to peel the hands off and let that child lay on the ground. And you’re there in the middle of by Doha, in the middle of the Horn of Africa, no communication, and then you have to sleep and you have to eat the same in Bosnia. You know, so to do this line of work, you definitely have to have a really good solid network, family and support. But the issue with that, for me is, forget about you and forget about you what you’re deciding to do with your mental stability and putting your body through this. What are you doing to your loved ones? What are you doing to your mother? What are you doing your sister? Your wife, girlfriend, uncles, friends, look at all the network, you know, whenTim was killed in Bolivia, look at that network of people that everybody that loved him and all the stress. When you get when you get on a plane to go somewhere to I’m leaving, you pack your bags and leave. So yeah, there’s real issues with this. I’ll end it on that.
Kenneth: Thank you, Chris. That’s I have to say it has been although I, you know, co-authored this book, it’s still incredible for me to hear these recollections. And unfortunately, we’re almost out of time so we don’t have more scope to take more of the questions but there’ll be many questions there’s lots of thanks coming in for Paul or Christopher for Ron.
Christopher: I want to say one last thing it kind of a really strange and stupid antidote. Oh, my whole life growing up in the 70s you hear that song, Stairway to Heaven. And it’s just like, okay, we all know it. It’s some people even probably hate it now. But it was just in the last years there was a line at the end where he says to be a rock and not to roll and it clicked to me what that finally meant. It’s basically to be a rock and not to roll. Don’t let this stuff push you around, stand your ground, stand your purpose, stand what you’re doing and what message you’re trying to show the world. Ron, Paul, the journalists that are rocks and stand their ground and they push their message through no matter what the critique that they get of why they do it. So it’s just kind of an ending note, I wanted to say, to be a rock and not the roll, you know, don’t let you get pushed around. Sorry.
Kenneth: It’s a tremendous waited to end the session. And thank you so much to all of our participants today, PaulLowe, Ron Haviv. Christopher Morris, it’s been absolutely fascinating. And there are a number of questions that you can address that they’re really not for me as the kind of coauthor of the boot boot for you individually. And perhaps you might be able to have the opportunity to to address some of those questions in the in the chat. But for now, thanks to everyone at VII Insider for organizing the event. And, of course check VII Insider’s website for subsequent events that are coming up. And this is actually my first I’ve attended as a participant, but I’ll certainly be attending more of them because I think today has been a fantastic session. So thank you very much to all our participants for further contributions today. Thank you.
Paul: And thank you, Kenneth for for hosting us today. And Ron and Chris, obviously. Thanks, everybody.