Nejla is living in the outskirts of Sarajevo. ©Miriam Stanke and Carlo Lombardi

A Country Ain’t Too Much To Love

Miriam Stanke and Carlo Lombardi

2023 — Bosnia and Herzegovina 

About this series

“A Country Ain’t Too Much To Love” explores life in today’s post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina thereby focusing on a young generation whose only link to the conflict is through the memory of others as well as through the still visible alterations left behind in their surroundings. Almost three decades after the end of the war, facades covered with bullet holes, land mines and contaminated soil as well as a policy of ethno-political segregation are silent reminders of the past and reinforce the notion of a divided country. The heritage of the youth is inseparably connected to the past. The ease which youth brings along is yet shattered by the trauma of past events, thereby it is also becoming a symbol for the struggles of the country’s future.

Neretva river view from the Stari Most bridge in Mostar, a symbol for ethno-political segregation as it devides the city into a Bosniak Muslim and Christian Croat side. ©Miriam Stanke and Carlo Lombardi
The grandfather of Bosnian artist Smirna Kulenovic once served at this trench line during the Bosnian War which his granddaughter now transformed into a medicinal plants’ garden. ©Miriam Stanke and Carlo Lombardi
©Miriam Stanke & Carlo Lombardi
Tito’s portrait hanging on the wall in his personal suite inside Tito’s bunker.©Miriam Stanke and Carlo Lombardi
Almira and her daughter live close to a munition storage which was destroyed by the use of depleted uranium during the war. ©Miriam Stanke and Carlo Lombardi
A deminer is cleaning an area of the forest from mines in Glamoc. ©Miriam Stanke and Carlo Lombardi
A spomenik reminds of the old Soviet times. ©Miriam Stanke and Carlo Lombardi
A skull was found during demining a forest in Glamoc. Body parts can still be found decades after the Bosnian War. ©Miriam Stanke and Carlo Lombardi
Two s isters after having a swim in the river Buna. ©Miriam Stanke and Carlo Lombardi
A veteran is protesting for better support by the state, Sarajevo. ©Miriam Stanke and Carlo Lombardi
The Neretva river with a length of 225 km connects countless villages and towns while crossing the whole country. ©Miriam Stanke and Carlo Lombardi

Photographer: Miriam Stanke and Carlo Lombardi
Nationality: German / Italian
Based in: Germany / Italy
Instagram: @miriamstanke

Carlo Lombardi (Italy) and Miriam Stanke (Germany) are working as an artist collective. Having collaborated on a few projects so far, they have developed a shared photographic practice in which they often explore the territory through the stories of the local community, the examination of landscape and traces of human presence left behind. Both of them work mainly on long-term projects using a multidisciplinary approach that combines analog photography with archive material, video, text and sound. Carlo is interested in exploring the role of photography in creating memories while Miriam’s work often deals with the notion of ethnic and cultural identity in the current times.