Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Sarajevo Portrait

It is always a bad sign when someone suggests you travel in a canvas topped truck along the infamous Sniper Alley in Sarajevo. It is even worse when the accompanying soldiers piled into an armoured vehicle behind, shouting "You'll be sorry!". It was reassuring for me but not for them when the armoured vehicle broke down and they had to join me!

Let me tell you, it is even worse when the truck you are travelling in breaks down on Sniper Alley. Having nothing else to do, I reached for my camera and took this portrait of a somewhat strained looking young soldier. You will note that this UN soldier has a white helmet not blue. Reason? When the British Army first deployed to Sarajevo, it was ill-prepared for United Nations service. A large number of white Arctic Warfare helmet covers were dyed blue for use on the deployment. Sadly, as soon as it rained, the blue dye ran, leaving the helmet covers white and the resulting blue-faced soldiers looking like Smurfs. Hey ho!


  1. This reminds me a lot of a photo I used for a drawing back when I was in high school, around '68 or '69. It was a US soldier in Vietnam with his blood type written on his helmet and a checklist of months. All but one month had been checked off. He had only one month left with boots on the ground. He had a cig hanging from his lips, but very similar look.

  2. Brilliant portrait, his face says it all. I wonder where he is now.