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Balkan War Journal
Ron Haviv

September 16 - December 11, 2005
Museum Open House, Meet the Artist, and Lecture: October 12, 5:30-7:00pm
Gallery Talk: October 19, 12:00-1:00pm

Ron Haviv
Bosnian Soldiers, Sarajevo 1994

“We who were there will never forget what we saw in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo. Ron Haviv has courageously and with great feeling documented that appalling horror so that the rest of the world will never forget.”
–Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent CNN


Many thousands of photographs emerged from the war in Yugoslavia. The Civil War and ethnic turmoil in that country during the 1990’s are captured in Ron Haviv’s compelling and unique record of inhumanity in the heart of Europe. Blood and Honey shows us not only the major news events like the “ethnic-cleansing”, Serbian concentration camps, para-military atrocities and the destruction of ancient cities and culture, but he also gives us a glimpse into the lives of the ordinary people swept up in the chaos.

Haviv was witness to events both large and small. He was there during the beginning of the assault on Sarajevo and the subsequent siege. He was in the Croatian city of Vukovar as it was overrun by the Yugoslav army. He was the first journalist to capture Serbian atrocities in Bosnia on film, photographs he took at great risk to his life. Haviv’s images from Serb concentration camps in Bosnia helped shock the world. And his unforgettable portrait of Serbian warlord Arkan and his so-called Tigers was the first glimpse the world received of a group of paramilitaries who perfected a practice the world would come to know as "ethnic-cleansing."

Ron Haviv has documented many of the post cold war hot spots, including the near civil war in Moscow, conflict in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Gulf War, the Balkans War, the aftermath of September 11th, the war in Afghanistan, the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and, most recently, the crisis in the Sudan.

Depicting both the urgency and the tragedy of war, his work has became internationally known through pages of Time, Newsweek, Paris Match and Stern.
  Ron Haviv  
The Witness

Ron Haviv's photographs of the war in Yugoslavia speak for themselves as journalism and art. They capture the injustice of a conflict whose primary targets were civilians rather than combatants. Anyone can sense the fear, despair, outrage, and other emotions these images evoke, even at first glance and without knowledge of their context.

Haviv's pictures also recall haunting memories and images of past horrors. The skeletal Muslim prisoners he photographed in a Serb concentration camp in 1992 are reminiscent of the survivors of Auschwitz. His image of a Muslim captive pleading for mercy minutes before Serb gunmen threw him from a fourth-floor window calls to mind Goya's painting of a terrified Spanish peasant about to be executed by French soldiers in 1808.

Half a century after Orwell envisioned the future as a jackboot forever stamping on a human face, Haviv has frozen in time a Serb soldier kicking a bleeding woman in the head. Some of Haviv’s photographs, however, do more than arouse emotions and stir memories and allusions. The images he captured in the Bosnian town of Bijeljina in April 1992 document criminal acts that were components of a larger crime: the incitement to violence of millions of people by political leaders who would stop at nothing to enhance their personal power. The Bijeljina photographs show members of a militia with links to Slobodan Milosevic, the ruler of Yugoslavia's largest republic, Serbia, actually beginning the bloodbath in eastern Bosnia. The faces of the perpetrators and their victims are identifiable. The nature of the crime is clear. The pictures can and should be used as evidence before the international tribunal trying people indicted for crimes of war in Yugoslavia.
” –Chuck Sudetic, in Blood and Honey

Blood and Honey receives its first complete US showing at the Southeast Museum of photography and is presented with the assistance and cooperation of War Photo, Croatia.


Ron Haviv is a co-founder of the VII agency and is a contract photographer for Newsweek. He has earned several World Press Photo, Picture of the Year and Overseas Press Club awards and the Leica Medal of Excellence. His work has been exhibited at many museums and galleries including the United Nations and The Council on Foreign Relations. He has contributed to numerous books, and regularly lectures at universities and seminars. Throughout his career as a photojournalist Ron Haviv has confronted risk in order to bring our attention to our less fortunate neighbors.

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