Bosnia and Herzegovina is a mostly land-locked nation with a deep history. It declared independence in the 90s after a turbulent dissolution of the former Republic of Yugoslavia. Formidable multi-faction political strife ensued, which exacerbated ethnic divisiveness over territory, power and independence. As a result, the Bosnian War began with armed combat & infrastructure destruction, culminating in mass civilian displacement and dehumanizing genocide.
The 1995 Dayton Agreement’s attempt to halt bloodshed and appease splintered parties left behind a fragmented society with root causes relatively unresolved. Bosnia consists of three identities: Bosniaks, Croats and& Serbs. Its government entails a proportional democracy with a rotating presidency. While peace was implemented, hardship is felt in a complex political governance, economic inertia and general distrust among people, ultimately fostering social tension.
During my visit, I sensed a curious, implicit melancholy, a dense atmosphere thick with latent ash. Named after its country's beloved insignia, Fleur-de-Lis is a visual essay about a scarred community coping withy vestiges of war, corruption and persecution; this amid a psychological terrain yearning for peace, tolerance and survival of a time-honored heritage in a country without a call to account and among a global increase of tribalism, bigotry, and propaganda.