Return To Yugoslavia
All Spionica photos appear by the courtesy of photographer Andy Spyra.
In the mid-1990's, the world became aware of a Yugoslavian effort to liquidate it's Muslim minority population. This Yugoslav minority were called Bosniaks and were, and are, indigenous muslims. The Bosniaks derived their ethnic name from the Bosna river running through Yugoslavia and were unquestionably native to Yugoslavia with a centuries long history in the region dating back to the medieval Kingdom of Bosnia in the late 13th century.
These people were not invaders or immigrants, they were Yugoslavian citizens yet they were regularly under attack by state sanctioned miltia groups which, without due process of law or regard to human life, rounded them up from the street and their homes, and marched them into concentration camps where, like the Nazi death camps in the 1940's, were never seen or heard from again.
In 2009, German photographer Andy Spyra documented the recovering Bosniak region of Spionica Srednja. Spionica is located in the what was once central Yugoslavia and is now called Srebrenik - part of modern day Bosnia-Herzegovina. Spionica had the dubious distinction of being 10 miles from a Yugoslavian government concentration camp. This camp today in 2011, regularly turns up war crime remains.
Spionica is still struggling with the ghosts of it's past. Unemployment, due to the destruction from NATO's bombing campaigns and the wide spread self-inflicted damage of civil war, is well over 75%.
Andy Spyra is freelance photographer in based in Hagen, Germany.
Andy Spyra, Photography