Tribute to Danilo Krstanovic
Last Friday our long time Sarajevo photographer Danilo Krstanovic passed away unexpectedly. He was buried on Monday in Sarajevo.
Danilo began working for Reuters at the start of the siege of Sarajevo. His images were extraordinary and touching. There are many photographers who would brag about their war adventures, about what they did and how brave they were, but not Danilo. He would quietly go to take his pictures, endangering his life on a daily basis for four years. He always came back with amazing images, never complaining or boasting about any situation he was in.
Danilo is survived by his wife and daughter.
- Pawel Kopczynski
Danilo’s colleague Peter Andrews offers his thoughts below.
People say that it always hurts more when it is close to home and it is very true. Our group, who have spent almost 20 years in various dangerous places, is used to seeing death and dead bodies and somehow have become totally accustomed to that. We do not cry when we see destruction and mayhem and we work calmly. Perhaps each of us processes each situation in a different way inside but we all stay calm outside… unless we don’t.
Still, when it comes to the death of people who were dear to us, it always hurts and leaves a huge void in our souls. It is hard to even speak about that. Danilo was one of us, taking pictures in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. That is where I met him and had the privilege of working with him for two years. The difference between Danilo and us (photographers who come from abroad) was that we, once in a while, were able to leave Sarajevo and rest in a normal place not touched by war and destruction filled with death, suffering, crying and funerals. Funerals that happen every day. Danilo did not have this kind of luxury as he was not allowed to leave Sarajevo for he was Bosnian. So what he did was walk the streets of Sarajevo every day – putting his life on the line to bring amazing news pictures showing the horrors of the siege. He never complained as he was probably the most modest and quiet man I have ever known and have worked with.
I remember the last massacre in Sarajevo which happened on the 28th of August 1995. Danilo and I left the office in an armored Landrover and went to the center of the city. After we parked our car we went for a stroll. Sarajevo was quiet for a couple of weeks prior to that and people began walking on the streets feeling safer and more relaxed. We went for a coffee and then strolled by the Indoor Market and were just around the corner near the Cathedral when we heard a loud explosion. We were not sure where it had happened but we ran there and what we saw was horrifying; dead bodies everywhere, people running in panic, screaming for help. We both began taking pictures as there were many other people that were already helping the wounded. I do not remember how long we stayed but both of us decided to leave after a while and take some wounded to the hospital in our car. Danilo was very calm throughout the whole situation, talking to the wounded despite the fact that several more mortar rounds had landed nearby and that we had just walked in front of the entrance to the Indoor Marked few minutes earlier. After we drove to the hospital and helped the wounded that we had brought in, we went back to the office. Forty people died in that mortar attack and over 180 were wounded. We did not talk much about what happened, we just looked at each other.
Some photographers are very active in promoting themselves saying how great they are but not Danilo. He was always quiet, modest, just doing his job… My thoughts are with him and his family. I shall miss him….
For a complete slideshow of danilo’s work click here.