photographs NICK DANZIGER
text RORY MACLEAN
design MARK THOMSON
Missing Lives brings together fifteen, heartbreaking stories from the Balkans – stories that tell of the immense tragedy that took place between 1991 and 2001 during the Yugoslav Wars when tens of thousands of Europeans vanished. Desperate for news, families of the missing prayed for a message, begged for the truth and often fell prey to blackmail. In almost every case, those missing had been murdered. But without any word, witness or body, the bereaved could not accept their loss. Their torment was to last years – for many it still continues. Children waited for parents to return from the grave. Mothers made up their dead son’s beds. Old men couldn’t bury their descendants. The living also ‘lost’ their lives.
For the first time in war DNA has been used to match blood and bone, reuniting families divided by death, enabling survivors to find closure and to begin to live again. Since 1991 the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Balkans has been asked by families to trace 34,384 missing men and women. The remains of half of them – most of whom were murdered over a decade ago – have now been found. Missing Lives gives a voice to the unacknowledged suffering of these families, to all who went missing ‘by force’, and reminds us that in war there is no greater loss than the disappearance of those we love.
Nick Danziger’s photographic essays appear regularly in magazines and books worldwide. He has published several books including Danziger’s Britain (1996), a social and political commentary on the state of Britain, described by The Independent as ‘so important that every one of us should read it and weep’. An Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, he has also been nominated by the Royal Television Society for the Journalist of The Year Award.
Rory MacLean's seven books, including UK best-sellers 'Stalin's Nose' and 'Under the Dragon', have challenged and invigorated travel writing, and according to the late John Fowles are among works that 'marvellously explain why literature still lives'. During his research journeys, MacLean walked through the newly-opened Berlin Wall, met Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon and interviewed Pashtun elders at the Kacha Garhi refugee camp after the destruction of the World Trade Center. His books have won awards from the Canada Council and the Arts Council of England, were shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Prize and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary award. He has also written and presented over 50 radio programmes for the BBC and worked on movies with Marlene Dietrich and David Bowie. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an active member of International PEN.
101 colour photos, 216mm x 162 mm