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Image of War - War Photography Museum - Dan Kosmayer Photography

Image of War - War Photography Museum

During my visit to Zagreb, Croatia, I visited the Image of War Museum, dedicated to War Photography.

The Image of War Museum, located in the center of Zagreb, Croatia, showcases war photography focusing on the Croatian War of Independence from 1991 to 1995. This war was part of the more significant Yugoslav Wars. It resulted in a Croatian victory, with the Croatian government gaining control over the vast majority of territory previously held by rebel Serbs.

The museum opened its doors in the fall of 2018 and exhibits photographs taken by local and foreign photographers. These photographers aimed to tell the story of the war by focusing on ordinary people and their experiences during this turbulent period. This approach is evident in the museum's exhibition titled "Up Close and Personal: War in Croatia," which was curated by Sandra Vitaljić.

The "Up Close and Personal: War in Croatia" exhibition includes more than a hundred photographs by professional photographers taken during the war and testimonies of ordinary people who experienced the war in various ways. It presents a variety of perspectives rather than a single view, aiming to encourage dialogue about the traumatic past and present-day conflicts. The exhibition emphasizes the personal approach taken by those who documented the war, an approach shaped by their worldviews, emotions, and affiliations. The images and testimonies together present a powerful and emotional portrait of the war, depicting everyday life, the suffering of civilians and soldiers, the devastation of cultural heritage, mass expulsions, and the reduction of entire cities to rubble.

The museum's motto is "War belongs in a museum," encapsulating its mission to raise awareness about the destructiveness of war and promote the importance of peace. In alignment with its mission, the museum donates part of its revenue to victims of war and refugees.

In terms of war photography, more generally, exhibitions like the ones at the Image of War Museum often include works from a range of photographers, from notable professionals and photojournalists to military photographers and soldiers. These images span various themes of war, including "Training," "Resistance," "Medicine in Wartime," and "Homecoming." The purpose of these exhibitions is not merely to display images of war but also to provoke thought and discussion about the realities of war and its aftermath.

Part of the revenue from all tickets is donated to victims of war and refugees. The current exhibition highly moved me, and I highly recommend visiting, but I must warn you that it contains disturbing and upsetting content.

More information can be found on their website - Image of War.

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