Missing Lives photography exhibition – photos from the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s. Spearwood Library, 10 September – 4 October.
Twenty years on from the wars in Croatia and Bosnia and ten years after the end of the conflict in Kosovo, thousands of families are still waiting for news of the fate of their loved ones classified as missing.
Since 1991, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been asked by families to trace 34,777 missing persons. Each of them left behind a wife or a husband, child or parent, brother or sister condemned to suffering the agony of not knowing whether their loved one was dead or alive. In limbo, they were unable to grieve, to claim inheritance, to sell property, or – most poignantly – to hold a funeral.
A photography exhibition now at Spearwood Library, presented by Cockburn Libraries and Australian Red Cross, tells the story of some of the missing and their families.
The photos, by award-winning British photographer Nick Danziger, document the plight of families still waiting for news of loved ones who went missing during the wars in the former Yugoslavia. Beside each photograph is a short description of the missing person and their family’s search for answers.
The exhibition Missing Lives aim to give voice to the silenced victims and to pay tribute to the tragedy of so many families in the Western Balkans. Missing Lives is also designed to serve as a tool to encourage governments and political authorities in the Balkans and across the West to commit to solving more cases at a faster pace to alleviate families’ suffering.
The free exhibition also documents the work that the ICRC and other organisations have been doing in the Balkans since 1991 to trace the missing. The Red Cross Movement’s Tracing Service works across international borders to help families separated by war, conflict or disaster to re-establish contact with lost loved ones, exchange family news, and clarify the fate of the
missing. It operates in 189 countries, including Australia.
Missing Lives, which was first shown in London in 2010, is now showing at Spearwood Library until 4 October 2015.
Please note, the one-off event which was to held in conjunction with the exhibition, has been cancelled.