Srebrenica through the Lens of Locals and an Anthropologist

AAU will be hosting a photography exhibition “Four Seasons in the Silver Valley: Srebrenica through the Lens of Locals and an Anthropologist” from Monday, January 8th till Friday, February 2nd.

Exhibition Annotation

These photo series are a result of a cooperation of an anthropologist Markéta Slavková with chosen research participants in Bosnia, particularly with brothers Ibro and Ibrahim Begić from Srebrenica.

Ibro and Ibrahim were born on April 27, 1995 in so called UN Safe Area Srebrenica. According to their mother the birth of the twins made happy especially the father. A little less than two and half months later, Srebrenica was defeated by the Army of Republika Srpska. The father became a victim of genocide and the twins along with their mother, grandmother and three sisters refugees. In 2002 the rest of the family returned to their pre-war home despite the possibility to seek asylum abroad.

The photographs are thematically organized into the four seasons. “Silver Valley” is how the brothers titled Srebrenica and its surroundings. This title is truly fitting as the town sprawls in a valley and it has been known since the antiquity for its silver and also for example lead mines. Srebrenica literally means the “Silver town”.

The aim of this project is to open the question of reciprocity in ethnographic fieldwork. It explores the possibilities of a social anthropologist to “give voice to the invisible”, who would not be otherwise heard, and thus, to accept them not only on a symbolic level as equal partners. Brothers’ photographs poetically picture the details of an everyday life and reflect on many aspects of their lives. In a view of a stranger, these young men can seem somewhat rough, however, their photographs reveal their sensitive souls.

About Markéta Slavková

Mgr. Markéta Slavková, Ph.D. finished doctoral studies at Charles University, Czech Republic. She specialises in the discipline of socio-cultural anthropology with a focus on topics of: anthropology of food, migration, transnationalism, nationalism, identity and armed conflicts.

In her doctoral studies Markéta profiled herself namely in the problematics of anthropology of food in the former Yugoslavia. Her dissertation thesis is titled: Cooking and Dining in Times of War and Peace: Changing Contexts and Modes of Food Production, Preparation and Consumption in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Currently, she is employed as a researcher at Comenius University in Bratislava, where she also partly teaches qualitative research methods in social sciences. She also works part-time as a an external lecturer at her alma mater Charles University.