How ‘Sniper Alley’ helped man find only photo of brother killed during BiH war

NEWS 10.04.2021 12:09
Sniper Alley project
Source: N1

Two years ago, Dzemil Hodzic launched the Sniper Alley project to create an archive of photographs of the besieged Sarajevo and find at least one photograph of his brother who was killed by a sniper in 1995 in the BiH capital. His wish came true after searching for it over the past 26 years. Dzemil announced on his official Facebook account "Sniper Alley" that photographer Thomas James Hurst sent him a photo taken in 1993, showing his older brother Amel.

“I played with marbles, my brother played tennis. It was a truce back then. At one point, his ball went into “clear space.” Amel was hit in the chest by a sniper. The first thing I did was go home and call my mother who came from the night shift from the General Hospital. I also called for help, we wrapped him in a blanket. I didn't know that Amel died at that moment, it took me a long time, I was 12 years old,” he told N1.

“That day and that moment changed our whole life. I grew up abruptly. This project was created as a memory of life because I want to bring it back to myself in part as it was when he was alive,” Dzemil said.

He added that he found various photographs from that period while working on the Sniper Alley project.

“I found various photos from the siege of Sarajevo, I kept them without any plan and made my own archive. In the meantime, the names of the photographers who took the photos appeared. It was a list of about 30 photographers and I was optimistic that I would find that one photo. I gave myself a period of five years to find it, I would not give up, of course,” he said.

Then he told N1 a photograph called Thomas James Hurst sent him the photo he was looking for.

“I started communicating intensively with Thomas on March 15. When he sent me an email with the galleries, I saw my street in the photos. On March 25, when I was returning from work, he sent me a gallery and when I opened it I saw myself. I couldn’t believe it was me. I got in the car and I couldn’t drive. Tears welled up on their own,” he said.
The feeling of happiness and sorrow overwhelmed him at the same time, said the man behind the Sniper Alley project which can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.

“That feeling of happiness and sorrow was inexplicable. I sat down at the computer to answer him and then new galleries arrived where I saw my brother. I’m still in some kind of shock and happiness. He was killed five meters from the location where the photo was taken. At least one part of me was returned to me,” Dzemil concluded for N1.


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