Croatian Photo Exhibition Documents Wartime Detention Camps

The exhibition entitled 'Beyond the Seven Camps: From Crime of Culture to Culture of Crime' by Croatian photojournalist Hrvoje Polan opened on Thursday at the Zagreb Journalists' House, depicting cultural centres that were turned into detention facilities where people were tortured and killed during the 1990s wars.

The photographs from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are from the last project by Polan, who died this year at age of 48, and were part of a book of the same name produced with the writer Viktor Ivancic and journalist Nemanja Stjepanovic.

Opening the exhibition, the president of the Croatian Journalists' Association, Hrvoje Zovko, said that Polan's work highlighted topics that most people in society did not want to hear about or see.

"It is much easier for many to pretend that there were no war crimes, that there were no camps, that there were no prisons, than to accept the fact that our citizens, as well as [citizens] in other countries, were tortured and killed in the worst possible way," Zovko said.

Croatian writer and journalist Ivica Djikic said at the launch of the exhibition said that Polan found an "artistic solution to show the 'mundanity' of the crime, the incorporation of the massacre into everyday life and the landscape, and into people's lives".

Polan photographed 24 locations for the book - in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he took pictures at Houses of Culture in Trnopolje, Pilica and Vitez, at the Music School in Zenica and the Museum of the Battle for the Wounded on the Neretva River in Jablanica, while in Croatia he documented sites like Kerestinec Castle and the Lora harbour in Split.

The title of the book, 'Behind the Seven Camps: From Crimes of Culture to Culture of Crime', alludes to the phrase ...

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