On the 19th of June 1999, New Zealand photographer Bruce Connew entered Kosovo, just seven days after NATO troops had arrived. An exhibition of the images that he captured during this time begins on the 2nd of March in the Studio Gallery at te tuhi - the mark in Manukau City.
Press Escape to Cancel features 43 black and white images that he took during his eight day stay in Kosovo, which had been devastated by civil war and Serbian ‘ethnic cleansing’. As the surviving Kosova Albanian refugees streamed back into Kosovo, Bruce Connew hitchhiked around talking to and photographing people. At one point, he spent time photographing the people inside a hospital for the mentally insane. These images are amongst the most haunting and evocative in the exhibition.
All of the images in the exhibition are disturbing and troubling, but Connew does not seek to trivialise nor sensationalise what he saw. His choice of images attempts to evoke the horror and loss experienced by the Kosova Albanians rather than presenting us with outwardly graphic images.
'Press Escape to Cancel' exhibition card, 2002