My Lovely Bosnia
For several years Christian Schwager has been preoccupied with landscapes—especially landscapes that show signs of disruption. Following his best-seller Falsche Chalets, Christian Schwager’s book My Lovely Bosnia focuses above all on mined landscapes and (mass) graves in Bosnia.
The first pictures of this series were created during an excursion to the former frontline near Maglaj and Kalesjia where lovely wild young forests grow to the left and right of the road. These wooded areas were made possible by the land mines which left the land unfarmed, indicating that it may contain mines. The second part of the book deals with gravesites—areas where soldiers and civilians were executed, hastily buried, or both during the war years. These sites, or rather their history, present a strong contrast to the beauty of the forests and the edges of these wooded areas. The nine visual chapters of photographs are interspersed by poetry from Bosnia that establishes the connection to the landscape—usually as a metaphor for the pain of love, oppression or longing for death. The essay by Bosnian poet Dragoslav Dedovic speaks of a place in the hills of East Bosnia that played an important role in the erotic fantasies of Dedovic’s youth and which twenty years later became a site of horror.