Stories from troubled societies – Ziyah Gafic

Stories from troubled societies – Ziyah Gafic

Ziyah Gafić was born in 1980 in Sarajevo, in former Yugoslavia, now Bosnia and Herzegovina. He lives and works in Sarajevo.

Gafić is considered one of the most talented, prolific, and engaged of the younger generation photojournalists. Although he was too young to have taken an active part in the Balkan war, the Bosnian documentary photographer Ziyah Gafić personally experienced the impact of the conflict. His aunt died in her burning house, his grandfather committed suicide and a niece was a victim of rape. Out of frustration at his enforced passivity, Gafić was determined to photograph the aftermath of the war in Bosnia. Very quickly he expanded his field to include countries that have been involved in similar sorts of conflicts, such as Palestine, Afghanistan and Chechnya, travelling extensively to document social and political conflict. Here too Muslim communities are seeking restoration after the violence of war, and must continue to live in a divided society..

Since 1999 Gafić has been travelling extensively and covered major events in more then forty countries, both publishing and exhibiting his work internationally. In 2001, his reportage won the Ian Parry – The Sunday Times Magazine scholarship, and the Second Prize at the World Press Photo contest. In 2002, he won the First and the Second Prize at World Press Photo, the Kodak annual award for young reporters at the festival Visa pour l’image, and Special Mention by the HSBC foundation for photography. In 2003, Photo District News included him among 30 emerging world photographers and he won the Grand Prix Discovery of the Year at Les Rencontres d’Arles. In 2005, his work won the Giacomelli Memorial Fund Award and, in 2006, he was nominated for UNICEF Photographer of the Year. In 2007, he received the Getty images grant for editorial photography He regularly contributes to publications such as Amica, la Repubblica, L’Espresso, Le Monde, Newsweek, The Telegraph Magazine, Time, and Tank.

  • Most of his works you can watch on his Homepage: www.ziyahgafic.ba
  • you can also listen NEWTOPIA-curator Katerina Gregos talking about Ziyah Gafic and his artworks: “Children of Hate”, “State of Ignorance” & “Trans Islam”, which are shown at NEWTOPIA – The State of Human Rights exhibition: