I was 12 years old when the Bosnian War started–too young to take part, to fight or to photograph. Growing up in besieged Sarajevo and witnessing the war first hand but not being able to take part left me deeply frustrated. Photography allowed me to be on the other side of the event, turning my frustration into the determination to document the long and painful aftermath of post-war Bosnia. I’ve focused on a couple of the most painful issues that my homeland faces: the identification of tens of thousands of missing civilians and the return of refugees.
Tales From The Dark Valley is a glimpse into a larger project that photographer Ziyah Gafic has been working on over the past ten years, Troubled Islam. The project explores troubled societies and countries that have followed a similar pattern of ethnic hatred, war fraternities and genocide. Troubled Islam aims to compare, juxtapose and ultimately understand the circumstances and the political environment that lead a country to its disintegration, and to record the devastating consequences war has on humanity.