mattias malk

'Hiraeth' is a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past. The project explores the breakup of Yugoslavia and the subsequent Bosnian War from the point of view of a single village.

The Bosnian War was subject to conflicting interpretations from the outset. On one hand it was a clear cut civil war where internal groups were unable to agree on arrangements of power. On the other hand, the level of atrocities that took place and the still unagreed-on number of casualties speak of a highly charged political situation. It's stated that the conflict forced more than 2.2 million people to flee their homes.

'Hiraeth' follows the early years of the war as well as its aftermath by looking at a singular family archive alongside the remains of the once prosperous village they left behind. As the site itself is still largely littered with mines, access was limited. Much like the villagers themselves during the war there was only a day to gather everything from the village before having to leave.

The narrative for 'Hiraeth' is pieced together from the remains of the lived space, the family archive and oral history gathered during a year of research. By introducing the archive and personal histories a temporal shift occurs where new possibilities arise for perceived truth.

Photography, archival photography, audio interview and transcript, notes. See exhibit documentation.


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