people

13th Annual Black & White Spider Awards

A great way to start 2019 with the news that two of my images from Bosnia/Croatia have won awards! The images were taken yonks ago…way back in 1998, two years after the war had ended.

In this year’s Black & White Spider Awards there were 6,404 entries from 77 countries so very honoured to have been selected!

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Honorable Mention in the Photojournalism category. “The Aftermath of War” Medic’s (MSF) helping the elderly & vulnerable, Croatia. Two years after the War had ended, 1998.

 

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Nominee in the People category. “Bird woman” Feeding the pigeons, Bascarsija square in the old town, Sarajevo. 1998.

To view other images from the series CLICK here

The live online gala was attended by over 17,000 photography fans around the globe who logged on to watch the climax of the industry’s most important event for black and white photography.

“Once again, another stunning collection of high quality entries both professional and amateur. It’s always inspiring to see this classic medium being stretched into new and interesting directions.” Said juror Marcel Wijnen, Creative Director at Anthem Worldwide/Marque Branding in Sydney. Cultural Heritage Consultant Andrea de Polo from Fratelli Alinari Photography Museum in Florence added “The quality of work is incredible and for the jury selecting the best images is very hard work.”

“It’s an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 6,404 entries we received this year” said Basil O’Brien, the awards Creative Director. “Jacky Chapman’s images entered in the Photojournalism and People categories, represents black and white photography at its finest.”

BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS is the leading international award honouring excellence in black and white photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honours the finest images with the highest achievements in black and white photography.

http://www.thespiderawards.com

Rebuilding life in war-torn Bosnia and Croatia 1998.

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Bird woman, Bascarsija square in the old town, Sarajevo. 1998.

In January 1998, I was fortunate to accompany a small group of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – Doctors without Borders, as they carried out their work in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Croatia. Despite the fact that this was two years after the war had ended, the images still depicted a country ripped apart by war.

 

Throughout the war in the former Yugoslavia, MSF ran surgery programs, distributed medical supplies and drugs to hospitals and clinics, operated mobile clinics and worked in refugee camps.

Croatia

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The Médecins Sans Frontières mobile team at a make shift doctors surgery in Ostrovo, Croatia.

MSF provided health care to elderly and vulnerable populations in approximately 12 remote villages in the region until March 1998. The patients were mainly elderly Serbs.

 

A Catholic Croat, praying outside his bombed out home, Ostrovo, Croatia. He describes his place as “not fit for a dog to live in” 1998.

 

Vukovar

The Balkan conflict left its mark on the town of Vukovar — nicknamed ‘Croatian Stalingrad, the martyred city’. The nickname originates from being devastated by Serb-dominated army forces in the early days of Croatia’s war for independence from the ex-Yugoslavia. It suffered a three-month long siege before being captured by Serb forces in November 1991 (AKA Battle of Vukovar).

Vukovar was once proud of its ethnic diversity.  In a 1990’s survey from before the war, statistics show that roughly 23 or so ethnic groups then lived in the town. Mixed couples made up 34 per cent of all marriages. From my recent online research (2018) it is a different story, it’s a divided city. Croats and Serbs now live separate social lives.  Schools, cafes, restaurants, sports clubs and even radio stations have been re-established according to their ethnicity.

 

 

Living in a mixed family.

Vukovar, Croatia,1998

 

Bosnia-Hercegovina

Sarajevo

Vrbanja Bridge, Sarajevo. Re- named the Suada and Olga Bridge. On April 5, 1992 two anti-war protesters, Suada Dilberović and Olga Sučić, were killed on this bridge. They are believed to be the first victims shot at the beginning of the Siege of Sarajevo.

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Romeo and Juliet Bridge, Sarajevo.

On 19th May 1993, Admira Ismić and Boško, were also killed by snipers while trying to cross the Vrbanja bridge to escape the war torn city.  Boško (Bosnian Serb) was shot by sniper fire, and died immediately.  Despite being wounded, Ismić (Bosniak Muslim) managed to crawl over to Boško before dying next to his body.

Their story was told worldwide as Serbs and Muslims argued over who was responsible for shooting them and which side should venture out on to the bridge to recover them. The couple’s bodies lay side by side on the bridge for eight days, until finally the Serbian side went in under cover of night to drag the bodies away. Muslim prisoners later claimed they were tethered by their Serbian captors and forced to go out on the bridge to drag the decaying bodies back.

Snow covered cemetery, Sarajevo, 1998

Snow covered cemetery, showing mass killings in 1993, Sarajevo, 1998

Exact figures of casualties during the Siege of Sarajevo (1992-96) are still disputed, but it is estimated that approximately 19,000 people died, 10% of them children.  Some 18,000 Serbian troops, stationed in the hills surrounding city, besieged the 340,000 citizens with constant artillery, mortar, sniper and heavy machine-gun fire. Aside from the human cost of war, the cities infrastructure also suffered greatly – buildings, roads, waterworks, power supplies. A recent report suggests that the Serb forces caused an estimated $18.5billion of damage.

Workers re-cobbling the pavement near Bascarsija square in the o

During the 1992-1995 war, Grbavica was occupied early by the Army of Republika Srpska (Bosnian Serb Army) and remained under Serb control throughout the siege. From the tall residential buildings, Serb snipers targeted the Sarajevo populace along Sniper Alley. The neighbourhood was heavily looted and destroyed.

A country destryed. A man strolls by bombed out buildings near the front line, Grbavica, Sarajevo.

Grbavica, a neighbourhood of Sarajevo was one of the most traumatised neighbourhoods in the city.

 

 

Land mines were used extensively during the war by all sides in the conflict: about 1.5 million were laid across the country between 1991-95.  In 1997, more than 600,000 refugees still remained outside the country; landmines have impeded the return of many.  Those who do return often find that their land has become a minefield.  These returning refugees have little mine awareness and having been away from their communities, they do not know the location of minefields. There are thought to be still between 51,000 and 100,000 mines covering a 310-square-mile area across the country. At least 509 people have been killed and another 1,466 wounded by the devices in Croatia since the war ended.

"Danger-Mines!' Tape warns that homes are still booby trapped with mines. Many refugees have been killed by landmines and booby traps after returning to their homes in Bosnia and Herzegovina

It is feared that the minefields will never be cleared.

The view more images CLICK here

Edge of Humanity Magazine – Elderly Care Home In Beirut After 15 Years Of Civil War

Edge of Humanity Magazine has recently published Elderly Care Home In Beirut After 15 Years Of Civil War’

From 1996 to 2000, I was visiting assistant professor in photography and photographic design at NDU Louaize, Beirut, Lebanon.  Between 1975 and 1990, Lebanon suffered 15 years of civil war accompanied by distressing social, economic, physical and political ruin.

Throughout my frequent visits, I photographed the rebuilding of Lebanon and documented changing times in central Beirut.

This particular story, chosen by Edge of humanity magazine, depicts the  daily life within an elderly care home in Beirut, exposing loneliness, isolation, fragility, and sometimes the inadvertent neglect of its inhabitants.

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Time to party, party!

Notting Hill Carnival, London UK

Notting Hill Carnival, London UK

You know that the summer’s almost at an end when the Notting Hill Carnival appears in the calendar! These years seem to fly by! This year, however, I found myself unable to attend Britain’s Biggest Street Party…..boo hoo…there’s something about the way all five senses seem to explode all at once…..the BBQ corn-on-the-cob, the pounding music forcing its way out through the oversized loud speakers making your heart literally pond in your chest, that crushing feeling as you find yourself unable to move in any direction so all you can do is lift the camera over your head, click the shutter and hope you get a good pic!
Notting Hill Carnival, London UK

Notting Hill Carnival, London UK

With the darker nights and wet, windy days upon us, I thought I’d share a small collection of past images (2010-2014) from Europe’s largest street fest . Here’s to happy viewing…of shaking limbs, chocolate smeared faces, jiving policemen-  I still have pink paint embedded both on my back pack and my lenses!

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The carnival began in 1964 as a way for Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions. The following is an extract from the Notting Hill Carnival website http://www.thenottinghillcarnival.com and sums up its history wonderfully.

"At the roots of the Notting Hill Carnival are the Caribbean carnivals of the early 19th century – a particularly strong tradition in Trinidad – which were all about celebrating the abolition of slavery and the slave trade. The very first carnival was an attempt to showcase the steel band musicians who played in the Earls Court of London every Weekend. When the bands paraded through the streets of Notting Hill, they drew black residents out on to the streets, reminding them of the Caribbean homes they had left behind.
In the days of abolition, there was a strong element of parody in the songs and dances Trinidadians performed. Having been forbidden to hold festivals of their own during the period of slavery, they now took full advantage of the relative new freedoms the ending of slavery brought them. Dressing up in costumes that mimicked the European fashions of their former masters, even whitening their faces with flour or wearing white masks, they established a tradition that continues in the costume-making of today’s Notting Hill Carnival. The proper name for this aspect of the Carnival is Mas (derived from Masquerade)"


CLICK TO SEE MORE IMAGESNotting Hill Carnival, London UK