War (and Peace) Photographer
July 30, 2008 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Andrija Ilic is a photographer from Belgrade, Serbia. He uses photography to document social change to his environment and events in his homeland. He has covered some of the most important events in the region: war in Kosovo in 1998, NATO maneuvers in Italy in 1998 and intervention in 1999, numerous anti-regime protests 1996-2000, events surrounding the fall of government in Belgrade in October 2000, the crisis in southern Serbia. More recently, he has published new photos from the conflict in Israel and Palestine, every day life in Gaza, and reportage from the Faroe Islands. [some images NSFW - war violence and gore]

As an American, the events in the Balkans the past dozen years always seemed disturbing to me, but distant. Andrija has used his lens to help me understand the history and spirit that predates the conflict. Architecture is medieval, people farm and ranch, it snows ... all captured with the soft, filtered colorings of the Ilic style.

Then there is war. You can see the pain in the faces of those that Andrija froze for eternity on film. The numb refugees, the stoic fighters, relatives searching for lost loved ones, the crying babies and weary mothers. You see it in the crumbled brick and block, the slaughtered livestock, the orange fire and billowing smoke, the stark consequences. Andrija was in the middle of it all.

He was there too as his countrymen began their awakening with protests that led to the eventual fall of Miroslav Milosevic. Andrija Ilic was in the midst of the special police forces the night they arrested the tyrant. Those faces that once bore strain and pain now reflect joy and celebration.

Lately Andrija aims his camera for art. He photographs illusion and theater, desire and sport, fashion and beauty. In other words, these days Andrija Ilic is photographing peace.

I wish the photos on his site were larger. Most are only a few hundred pixels in width. Some of his images, however, can be seen in larger format at Report Digital.
posted by netbros (6 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Miroslav Milosevic? Think you mean Slobodan.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:53 PM on July 30, 2008

Crapazoid. Thanks infinitewindow.
posted by netbros at 2:58 PM on July 30, 2008

Football's a helluva sport, infinitewindow.
posted by katillathehun at 3:15 PM on July 30, 2008

He seems to have a quite biased view of the conflicts in Balkan. At least according to the "western" narrative of the wars. Propably both sides committed horrible deeds.
posted by hoskala at 4:56 PM on July 30, 2008

He definitely seems biased toward the Serbian view of the war, aka Genocide. Not at all to imply that all Serbs were/are as evil as Karadzic, Mladic et al.

There is a really interesting movie called No Man's Land (2001). It's a commentary on the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina which pits two men, one Serbian, one Bosnian, against each other. They find themselves trapped together in a literal no man's land (a trench) between their war camps. They are faced with reconciling their differences, (of which there are fundamentally few), in order to get out of this quagmire. It also touches on the role of the UN as a safeguard in the conflict; or lack thereof, in retrospect.

Looking on IMDB.com I see it won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002, which I didn't actually know. This link is so un-meta, but I'm not so good with the technologies:


It's moving, suspenseful, and thought-provoking. Highly recommended if this subject interests you.
posted by diablo37 at 2:00 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Very biased photos, both in Kosevo & Israel. I'd classify his work as activism.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:44 AM on August 12, 2008

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