cover image Aftermath: Bosnia's Long Road to Peace

Aftermath: Bosnia's Long Road to Peace

Sara Terry, , afterword by Lawrence Weschler. . Channel Photographics, $34.95 (240pp) ISBN 978-0-9744029-6-3

If not completely forgotten after more than a decade, the horrors of the Bosnian war have been crowded out by new horrors in new places. But while the attention of the rest of the world has moved on, Bosnia's people have been left with the task of not only rebuilding a nation from scratch but also of coming to terms with the war's legacy—the identification of the dead and the search for justice. For its Muslims, reconstruction has also meant relearning how to live among, and trust, a population that tried to erase them out of existence. Terry's camera documents this grim story's human aspect with rich detail. In lush, vividly colored and carefully composed images (that nonetheless avoid prettification), Terry assembles a panorama of a society coming to terms with overwhelming trauma. The subjects range from the blurred face of a schoolgirl giggling on a bus, to a pair of melancholy wheelchair-bound basketball players who were crippled during the war, to the stomach-turning process of identifying the dead. One quietly devastating image shows a forensic anthropologist collapsed into a chair in 2000, exhausted from cleaning the corpse of someone who was "ethnically cleansed" in 1992. Despite such dark images, what emerges most strongly from the collection is the sense that "life goes on no matter what, for better or for worse," as Lawrence Weschler notes in his afterword. By showing us this persistence, Terry's book reaffirms photography's crucial role as witness and spur to conscience. (Oct.)