Armin Smailovic
Berlin, February 24th 2007, 18:00 - 18:30

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During my military time in former yugoslavia i had to photograph more than 4500 soldiers for their military IDs. This happened 3 years before the war, which started 91. In the age of 19 and not enough politically grown to realize what i ve got in my hands, the negatives were just trash for me, after i printed 4 copies for each soldier. So all together something like 18000 prints in B/W. Then in 91 i went to the croatian war as a war photographer. During and especially after the war i had to think about all this young boys, i was taken a photographs of. What happend to them? Are they killed? Tortured? Or became killing machines? I cant tell...i only know that these images with the green shirt, fresh cut hair and a scary expression in their face are in my mind until today. These mug shots were my biggest project concerning war i have ever done.

Now with the DOW i start from the beginning. Collecting the first 100 faces of an anti-military collaboration. I changed green into white. The colour for mourning and peace in the same moment. There are hundreds of war images by photographers like James Nachtwey, Franklin Stuart, Robert Capa and many others who create images of war and gave it a „face“.
I couldn't and cant use those images of thousands of „faces“ of the soldiers to do something with it. So i started from the beginning. And i have to say that...
“At least, when we create images, we are doing something.”