Mission Statement: Pictures Without Borders uses documentary photography to bear witness and connect across borders. The project’s primary goal is to promote peace and mutual understanding.

More than thirty-five years ago I traveled through the former Yugoslavia in a VW Bus that served as home and darkroom.  I found myself deeply drawn to the people, the landscape and the culture. 

My first photographs were taken during a time of peace.  When war broke out in Bosnia in 1992, I read accounts of violence spreading into towns and cities where I had walked and photographed.  As news reports worsened, the faces of adults and children from that first trip haunted my thoughts. market_peja_1971_horn_sizedI began making prints of old negatives for a benefit event in my community to help bring war-displaced Bosnian students to schools in the United States.  Printing and viewing those images had an enormous impact on me, and was the beginning of my re-connection to Bosnia, and later to Kosovo. 

I returned to Bosnia in 2003, to a country still recovering from all the tragedy of war.  I brought photographs from the original trip, along with a film-based cameras and a digital audio recorder.  I also took a simple digital camera with a portable printer, to make prints for people as I again visited their towns.  I wanted to share the old photographs with those for whom they would have meaning.  And I felt compelled to reach out at a time when my own country has become more isolated from the international community.

The spirit and resilience of the Bosnian people now compelled my photographic attention, as well as all they had suffered.  I took many photographs and made audio recordings.  The people I met invited me into their midst, shared coffee, life stories, kindness and courage.  In some cases, I was able to find people and places I had photographed thirty-three years earlier. I began to see that the deepest significance of the trip was in bringing pictures back again. The photographs had reached their true destination as stories of life–as testaments to people and places whose identity was threatened.

In 2004 I met with the British photography book publisher, Dewi Lewis, at FotoFest in Houston, Texas. safet_zuna_2003_horn_sizedWith his encouragement and the support of friends, family and community members, Pictures Without Borders: Bosnia Revisited was published in late 2005. AWISH and The Bosnian Institute in London jointly helped sponsor its publication. 

An accompanying multi-media slide show has traveled to over 25 universities, conferences, and public events, and has recently been updated by a return trip to Bosnia in 2008.  In 2007, a traveling exhibition was created with major support from Emory University’s Initiative in Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding, and additional sponsorship from the Bosnian Embassy in Washington, DC and the Heinrich Böll Foundation of North America.

I returned to Kosovo in 2008 for the first time since 1971, retracing my route and bringing back photographs from the past, as I had done in Bosnia. In 2009 I will be developing a slide show and exhibition with this new material, and sending more 1971 photographs back to Kosovo as well – to share with individuals and historical societies.

How do we move past being strangers in this world?  What can link us together in friendship as other forces try to push us apart?  These are questions that have inspired my trips, my photographs, and this project.

Contact the project director for more information or to inquire about the multi-media slide show and traveling exhibition. Prints of both historical and recent photographs may be purchased, and help support the project.

Links to Additional Information

Project Leader Biographies
Exhibition Description
Pictures Without Borders web site

Contact Info

Steve Horn, Project Director
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web site: www.pictureswithoutborders.com