When RFE/RL photographer Midhat Poturovic arrived in the small Bosnian town of Osenik in August 2011, he saw what any other visitor would have seen: a village ravaged by violence
in the wake of a local population’s attack on Osenik’s Roma population. But then he saw something that many would have missed. “We could see the destruction and the horrible mess,” Poturovic recalls. “One could take hundreds of photos of that. But my attention was drawn to one broken window in particular, where I could see a scared family just in between the pieces of glass. That is how this photo was born.”
Now Poturovic’s compelling photograph -- “Violence Against Roma People” -- has been recognized
with the 2011 grand prize for best picture at Sarajevo’s annual “Photography BiH” competition
. The event, organized by fotografija.ba
, is supported by the Sarajevo Foundation for Music, Performing and Fine Arts and the Embassy of Spain in Bosnia. Poturovic’s victory was announced at a gala ceremony in a Sarajevo gallery, the New Temple, on January 16, and his is slated to go on exhibit in another Sarajevo gallery, BlackBOX.
Poturovic stands by his prize-winning shot at the New Temple gallery in Sarajevo.
“This award is huge to me,” Poturovic told “Off Mic” in a recent interview. “I am pleased that the jury recognized the energy I put into my work. It will be a motivator for me to work harder and to become a better photographer.”
Poturovic, 26, has only been at professional photography for four years, and says that his interest in the art is driven by his love for photojournalism. “From day one, I was mostly interested in photography as a document, as a witness to daily events,” Poturovic says. “I was interested in newsy photos. For me the most challenging task is being a witness.”
-- Kristyna Dzmuranova