A Muslim widow examines body bags containing the remains of recently exhumed victims of the 1992 “ethnic cleansing” campaign waged by Serbs against their Muslim neighbors (July 2001). Exhumations of mass graves began in 1996 and are expected to last for many years to come. Nearly 30,000 Muslims—most of them civilians—were listed as missing at the end of the war; most are believed to have been victims of “ethnic cleansing.”
• What details about the way this photograph is composed stand out to you? What roles do light, shadow, and color play?
• Why do you think the photographer chose not to reveal the face of the woman?
• Photographer Sara Terry notes, “I went to Bosnia with a desire to document the incredibly difficult period when humans move out of war’s desperate struggle to survive, and begin another equally mighty struggle—that of learning to live again.” What is your response to her statement?
• What role do exhumations play in the aftermath of war? How can this process help with the process of “learning to live again”?