Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Ghost Village in Bosnia

Images of Ledici, deserted after war swept through a small Serb community.
By Sanja Vrzić
  • Ledici now stands all but deserted, high in the mountains south of Bosnia’s capital. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
    Ledici now stands all but deserted, high in the mountains south of Bosnia’s capital. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
  • The damage dates from a June 1992 attack in which the local population fled or was killed. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
    The damage dates from a June 1992 attack in which the local population fled or was killed. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
  • Monument to 24 civilians from Ledici killed in June 1992 at the start of the Bosnian war. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
    Monument to 24 civilians from Ledici killed in June 1992 at the start of the Bosnian war. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
  • Another memorial commemorates ten Bosnian government soldiers blown up in 1994. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
    Another memorial commemorates ten Bosnian government soldiers blown up in 1994. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
  • A Serb village in a mainly Bosniak region, Ledici has not been rebuilt and its road is unmade. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
    A Serb village in a mainly Bosniak region, Ledici has not been rebuilt and its road is unmade. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
  • The local authorities have not funded the reconstruction work carried out elsewhere. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
    The local authorities have not funded the reconstruction work carried out elsewhere. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
  • Officials say the village missed out because no one came back. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
    Officials say the village missed out because no one came back. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
  • Interior of a wrecked home. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
    Interior of a wrecked home. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
  • Empty homes are left to the mercy of the elements. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
    Empty homes are left to the mercy of the elements. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
  • For the two surviving residents, life is hard with poor public services and a capricious mountain climate. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
    For the two surviving residents, life is hard with poor public services and a capricious mountain climate. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
  • Inside a wrecked home. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
    Inside a wrecked home. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
  • Mist envelops the road to Ledici. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)
    Mist envelops the road to Ledici. (Photo: Sanja Vrzic)

These pictures show Ledici, a Serb mountain village emptied of its residents at the onset of the Bosnian war in 1992.

Battered by a Bosniak military assault, the villagers tried to flee. Some made it, but 24 were killed. No one has been prosecuted for their deaths.

Apart from Obren and Dragana Miovcic, a couple who returned to rebuild their home after the war, the village lies deserted to this day. The authorities have not rebuilt homes smashed in the 1992 attack.

The harsh mountain climate means life in the village would be hard even under better circumstances. The Miovcics spend the winter with their children in Sarajevo.

For the full story, see Wartime Ghosts Stalk Forgotten Bosnian Village.

These photographs were taken by Sanja Vrzic, an architect, photographer and graphic designer based in Sarajevo. She specialises in landscape, documentary and cultural photography.

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