Photography Series: Camilla de Maffei

Brian Sokol at the Half King
The Visible Mountain / Camilla de Maffei 

           Opening: Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 7:30 PM

The Trebevic used to be a powerful symbol of Sarajevo: considered a sacred mountain since the times of ancient Slavs, Trebević was declared national park by Marshall Tito’s government. So close to the city, but at the same time so green and wild, during the second half of the past century it became the privileged destination for Sarajevans’ day trips.

In1984 the Olympic Winter Games took place there, an event that marked a turningpoint in the town’s history, the last moment of glory before the catastrophe. As war broke out in 1992, the mountain was occupied by Serb-Bosnian troops, becoming one of the main enclaves the city was besieged from. During the 3 years and a half of conflict, all the facilities were destroyed and today the landscape still wears the unequivocal scars of the actions that took place there.

Photographing the mountain is a challenge, because it goes beyond the simple picturing of its natural heritage, its people and some old ruins. There is a great perception of an invisible weight of it: there are memories still difficult to digest, a constant mourning and a persistent feeling of abandon and oblivion, of the stillness of the state of things. Some major issues are concentrated here: nostalgia for the Yugoslavian times, war traumas, reconstruction of multiple identities, visible and invisible borders nationalism, bad politics and corruption.
~ Camilla de Maffei

The Half King Photography Series is dedicated to showing exceptional photography. In tandem with its reading series, The Half King fosters a dialog between photographers and writers that underscores the importance of their unique relationship. Co-curating its photography series are James Price, Assignments Editor at Getty Reportage, and Anna Van Lenten, writer and editor.

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