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Missing Lives Paperback – 10 Jun 2010
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About the Author
Nick Danziger was born in London and developed a taste for adventure and travel from a young age and, inspired by the comic strip Belgian reporter Tintin, took off on his first trip to Paris aged 13. Nick's initial ambition was to be an artist, and he attended art school, got an MA, and representation from a gallery. But his desire to travel remained; he was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship in 1982 and used it to follow ancient trade routes - travelling on foot or traditional local transport from Turkey to China - and documented his adventures in his diaries. The diaries formed his first book, the best selling Danziger's Travels, and he never looked back. He has since travelled around the world taking photographs and in 1991 made his first documentary in Afghanistan, War Lives and Videotape, based on children abandoned in the Marastoon mental asylum in Kabul. It was shown as part of the BBC's video diaries and won the Prix Italia for best television documentary. His photographic essays appear regularly in magazines and books throughout the world. Digital Camera magazine recently wrote, 'It's no exaggeration to say that Nick Danziger is one of the finest photojournalists this country has ever produced. He's a naturally gifted visual story-teller.' His photographic work is held in museum collections worldwide and he has won several prestigious awards including the World Press Photo (1st prize portrait category) for his 'mirror' image of Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W. Bush. The shot was taken during Danziger's 30-day, ground-breaking study of a Prime Minister at war, with unprecedented access to Tony Blair's inner circle as he faced down an angry nation and deployed British forces against Iraq. Danziger is also the holder of the Royal Geographical Society's Ness Award in recognition of raising public understanding of contemporary social, political and environmental issues through documentary films and photography. In 2007 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Photographic Society. Rory MacLean's seven books, including UK best-sellers 'Stalin's Nose' and'Under the Dragon', have challenged and invigorated travel writing, and according to the late John Fowles are among works that 'marvellously explain why literature still lives'. During his research journeys, MacLean walked through the newly-opened Berlin Wall, met Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon and interviewed Pashtun elders at the Kacha Garhi refugee camp after thedestruction of the World Trade Center. His books have won awards from the Canada Council and the Arts Council of England, were shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Prize and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary award. He has also written and presented over 50 radio programmes for the BBC and worked on movies with Marlene Dietrich and David Bowie. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an active member of International PEN. Mark Thomson was Art Director of the celebrated international publisher Taschen in the 1990s, creating a lasting identity through many successful series and individual books. His groundbreaking monograph on Philippe Starck in 1997 won a D&AD Yellow Pencil and a Deutscher Preis fur KommunikationsA--design, and was shortlisted for the Art Directors Club of Europe Gold Award. Since 1998 he has been principal of London-based International Design UK, designing and producing award-winning books with artists and publishers worldwide. Between 2003 and 2008 he was also Art Director of Collins. His work has also been awarded several British Book Design and Production Awards, the Gourmand World Cookbook of the Year, and the Chairman's Prize in the All Japan Print and Poster Fair. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Eye magazine, and writes frequently on art, design and typography. He lives and works in London.
Top Customer Reviews
With beautiful evocative photographs by Nick Danziger and sparse and deeply moving text by Rory MacLean, this book brings the essence of former Yugoslavia into your living space. You feel once again the shock and horror of a war fought less than three hours' flying time from London; re-live the siege of ASarajevo, the massacre at Srebenica.
Although I know and love the area, I cannot say that I coulcn't put the book down - I did. After every chapter, every story I needed to pause and reflect. I read it in the sunshine.
It leaves me thinking about some of the other ethnic conflicts: Northern Ireland, South Africa and Afghanistan.
For many there is no resolution, no body to bury, no closure. The strories are tragic, bravely told, and heartbreaking.
Buy it, read it, ensure that future generations know of it, lest we forget.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
In a heart-breaking photo, Nasuf Berisha clutches a teddy bear as he waits at the Macedonian border where his mother and nephew left the Down's syndrome Kosovo Albanian Muslim man. Unable to say his name or his relatives' names, Nasuf died a year later in the Macedonian asylum at Demir Hisar before being reunited with his family. Two other stories of missing Kosovo Albanians are included in this collection.
A Kosovo Serb felt so safe in his Pristina apartment and neighborhood that he refused to leave Kosovo with his wife and in-laws as NATO invaded Kosovo after more than 11 weeks of bombing Serbia. Three weeks later, Rade's brother-in-law found four Albanian men living in Rade and Olja's apartment. A year later, Rade's beheaded remains (including his broken arms) were found in a mass grave of Serbs and identified by DNA testing.
One photo in the book is not by Danziger. It is a still from a Muslim propaganda video, showing the beheading of a Bosnian Serb by masked mujahideen in the style of the later Daniel Pearl murder video in Pakistan. A Bosnian toddler born in a Muslim family but raised in Serbia by elderly Serbs during the war, returns to Bosnia but not to her father. "A biological father is not necessarily your real father," she says after meeting him with his "fifth or sixth wife." Mila insists on keeping her adoptive Serb name, even though she thinks the Serb soldier who rescued her was probably her mother's killer. She arranges to talk to the imprisoned former Serb soldier a few days after her interview for this book. Tantalizingly, we are left to imagine the outcome of the interview.
By focusing on a few families, many circumstances had to be excluded. There is no one who suffered the ethnic expulsion from or disappeared in Slovenia, the first republic to take military action to secede from Yugoslavia. The most obvious missing group from this book is the Roma. They were murdered, robbed or expelled from all the secessionist territories of the former Yugoslavia, once again the invisible victims. Many ended up in refugee camps around Belgrade.
Nor is there any mention of the 300- 400 Serbs kidnapped for commercial organ harvesting in 1989-99--reported by Human Rights Watch, the Council of Europe, and the book, "The Hunt" by the former Chief Prosecutor at the International War Crimes Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (IWCTY). Last year Interpol named a doctor involved in that earlier organ trafficking as the central figure in commercial organ harvesting and trafficking in Kosovo and Albania over the decade. Subsequently, five personnel were arrested at the Medicus medical clinic in Pristina, Kosovo. The November 16, 2010 "New York Times" reported, "Officials said the ringleader was a highly regarded surgeon and professor at Pristina University Hospital, Dr. Lutfi Dervishi."
The introduction suggests that protection of Serbs after Croatia's secession was only a "pretext," but the minority's need for protection seems to have been real when "Operation Storm," expelled 200,000 Serbs from Croatia. On April 15, 2011 IWCTY convicted Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and General Mladen Markac of that ethnic cleansing. The guilty verdict provoked protests in Croatian cities by government officials including the Prime Minister, Croatian newspapers, war veterans, and police as well as massive crowds of citizens. There were smaller demonstrations in May in Serbia--without any officials participating-- when Ratko Mladic was captured by Serb police on the Romanian border and sent to the IWCTY for trial within days of his capture.
This book's multi-ethnic approach is an important effort to build reconciliation by recognizing the suffering of all sides in the wars. It avoids labeling one ethnic group as guilty, an approach that countless other books and organizations have pursued producing increased ethnic alienation. Each subject's experiences are skillfully brought to an international audience in a sympathetic manner.