Lessons from ’91


The exhibition entitled Lessons from ’91 has gathered for the first time in this quantity at one single location photographers from the entire region and a few international guests in order to depict war years in the area of the former Yugoslavia.

Without pretending to be a universal historical depiction of the war or to offer answers to unanswerable questions, the exhibition represents war photographers’ perspective on the reality they witnessed during their visits to the political and real battlegrounds from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to Serbia, Kosovo and FYR Macedonia.



These photographs played an important role during the war itself, shaping not only the public opinion in all war struck countries, but also the opinion of the international public. 

Today they are even more important to us as foundations of the collective memory, as sometimes undesirable traces of an bygone, but still very painful history.


The photographer’s gaze is never neutral, although documentary photography tends to be presented as an objective and realistic image of the world, the single possible representation of the given reality. Photographs never possess one single meaning; it is necessary to decode their multiple layers in the light of the circumstances in which they were created, the impression they might have made at the moment of their publication, the photographer’s motivation, worldview and ethics, and finally, considering the present view of depicted events



This exhibition presents photographs created on all conflicted sides, originally captioned by their authors, without the intention of using them as a means for any particular purpose. To this day, all these photographs carry a strong emotional charge, and their authors return to them with torment, reliving their own war nightmares.

The exhibition is part of a larger project of the association Društvo za evropsko zavest from Maribor, whose partners are Foto Klub Maribor, the International Photography Festival Organ Vida, and the Photo Association of Serbia. The project is supported by the EU fund Europe for Citizens.


Authors: Darko Bandić, Nina Berman, Matko Biljak, Renato Branđolica, Miloš Cvetković, Tom Dubravec, Željko Gašparović, Zijah Gafić, Velija Hasanbegović, Toni Hnojčik, Filip Horvat, Romeo Ibrišević, Srđan Ilić, Zoran Jovanović Mačak, Milomir Kovačević, Borut Krajnc, Saša Kralj, Paul Lowe, Anthony Loyd, Partik Macek, Antun Maračić, Simon Norfolk, Nebojša Radosavljević Raus, Željko Sinobad, Tone Stojko, Srđan Sulejmanović, Imre Szabo, Pavo Urban, Davor Višnjić, Božidar Vukičević, Dragoljub Zamurović

Curator: Sandra Vitaljić

Designers: Nina Bačun i Roberta Bratović

Poster design: Alma Šavar

Photo: © Božo Vukičević, A Croatian soldier lying in state, Prekopakra, 10/24/1991

Zvonimir Gallery, 2016