“I wrote as if I were in my homeland again, as if I’m walking and playing in the fields and forests, talking with my childhood friends. When writing and speaking about my friends and acquaintances, I also talk about myself and other events in the past, but also present. From my homeland I carried great love towards nature and my childhood memories which later appear as motives in my story Fearless Youth.” – Hasan Lizde
Photography series in progress “Fearless Youth” is based on the eponymous, unpublished autobiography of my grandfather Hasan (1928-2011) in which he recalls, among other things, his experiences in World War II.
His upbringing in a small Muslim village in Bosnia and Herzegovina was abruptly interrupted when he was recruited into the Ustashe army in which he served from 1943 to1945. Following my grandfather’s descriptions, maps and routes and by using his book as a compass, I travelled 1800 km through Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia to visit the places he describes, burdened by history and marked by traumatic events. Through the act of photography, they become personal monuments of our relationship, a meeting point of the past and the present.
Like an unwanted family heirloom, the past is passed down from generation to generation, we are born into it and we carry it even if we never witnessed it. Using archival material along with the landscapes and self-portraits I am weaving a map of intertwined personal and political history to establish a dialogue with my late grandfather’s past, a past that is inevitably mine.