‘Sniper Alley’ Site Preserves Photo Memories of Sarajevo Siege

Dzemil Hodzic launched the Sniper Alley site in an attempt to collect and save all the wartime photographs he could find from Sarajevo in one place, establishing a database that will be easily accessible to anyone who wants to find images from the years when the Bosnian capital was under siege in the 1990s.

"As you might notice, there are lot of groups on social media, Facebook or Instagram that post that type of material that should be archived, because if someone decides to shut down that page, they will no longer exist," Hodzic, who now lives in Qatar, told BIRN.

Many of these online groups are the only source for Bosnians to find photos of their family members or themselves from the siege period, which began in April 1992 and lasted for more than three years - the longest siege of a European city in contemporary history.

However, these online groups are hard to search, most of them do not have precise photo credits or failing to provide accurate information, which is why Hodzic decided, with some help from friends, to launch the Sniper Alley website in August this year.

A young boy peeks through a bullet hole in a window pane. Photo: Sniper Alley/Derek Hudson.

"I do not have any photos of growing up in Sarajevo during the war, as we did not have the means [to take them], nor any of my family, and that is something that I think of all the time," he said.

"It bothers me that I do not have any school, birthday or family photos from that period. A single photo from that time would make my day," Hodzic wrote in his personal story on the Sniper Alley site.

He is in contact with many wartime photographers who were in Sarajevo or elsewhere in Bosnia at that time and said that many of them are willing to contribute.

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