£30 / €40 / $50
Published November 2015
200 x 255 mm
210 pages, 3 gate folds, 3 fold outs
Hardback, cloth covered with screen print and foil deboss
Texts by Saša Stanišić, Srećko Latal and Christian Caujolle
Published November 2015
December 14th 2015 will mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Dayton Agreement, the treaty that brought an end to the Bosnian War. This new book, the result of a long-term project by photographers Stéphanie Borcard and Nicolas Métraux, aims to give a face to the cities and landscapes whose names are familiar in the collective memory. Grey Skies Black Birds also presents the faces of the country itself, examining the impact of the post-war situation on the individuals born before, during and after the conflict.
The photographs in Grey Skies Black Birds were taken by Borcard and Métraux between 2013 and 2015 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They show rural and urban landscapes bearing the traces and echoes, both obvious and hidden, of a troubled and sombre history. Many of the landscape are presented as diptychs, the gaps between the pairs of images echoing the political, ethnic and religious divisions of the country. The portraits in the book suggest a mixture of hope and disillusionment whilst overcoming a difficult past.
‘Despite of the extraordinary beauty of the region, a feeling of fear and mistrust towards scenery made us photograph the landscapes from a distance. How to trust the soil, knowing what it could hide and what, we sadly still discover today? Twenty years have passed but the country, which is so close but yet so far away, still seems convalescent. Passing through a long and painful period of transition, it tries to find the balance that could permanently heal its wounds.’ –
Stéphanie Borcard and Nicolas Métraux
The book contains essays by Saša Stanišić a Bosnian-German writer who came to Germany as a refugee when he was 14 years old; Srećko Latal who was an AP correspondent in Bosnia and Herzegovina during and after the 1992-1995 war and is currently Balkan analyst with the International Crisis Group; and Christian Caujolle, an international photography critic and curator.
Stéphanie Borcard and Nicolas Métraux are Swiss photographers based in Bangkok, Thailand. Their work explores social issues, both universal and specific, from different and unexpected perspectives. Past projects have included documenting Alzheimer’s disease in a Swiss centre in Thailand, the Tibetan Wild West, the vanishing Uyghur culture, and children born from sex tourism in the Philippines. Their personal projects are often influenced by both their travels and the relationship between the individual and society, fueled by a desire for a better understanding, and continual questioning of, the world.
Borcard and Métraux’s work has been exhibited widely across Europe and Asia, and they are recipients of numerous awards including most recently First Place in the Swiss Press Photo Award 2015. Their clients include The Washington Post, Der Spiegel, NZZ, NZZ am Sonntag and South China Morning Post Magazine, amongst others.