Santiago Lyon

Santiago Lyon—AP

Santiago Lyon—AP

June 11, 1992. Sarajevo.

“On Thursday, June 11, 1992, I was in an a ‘soft’ (non-armored) car speeding out of central Sarajevo on the infamous ‘Sniper Alley’ when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a body in the street. The dead woman had been walking towards Sarajevo, presumably from the countryside, given her attire, and had passed along a stretch of road exposed to Bosnian Serb or Serb snipers. Someone had shot her in the head and her body lay exposed on the road as cars sped by at top speed to avoid a similar fate.

I approached the body, crouched down low behind a metal garbage container in order to make a photo, always aware that I might be visible to another sniper. At some point I stopped, framed the photo with an 80-200 f2.8 zoom lens and waited for something to fill the background. A car sped by. I lowered my shutter speed slightly to try and capture the movement of what I assumed would be another car passing by soon. One did and I released the shutter.

At this stage very, very few journalist were working in Sarajevo due to the dangerous conditions and difficulty of accessing the city. There was much interest in the rapidly deteriorating situation there. The photo was used on scores of newspaper front pages around the world. Some years later I was sent a photo taken at a photo exhibition in Sarajevo. One whole wall of the exhibition consisted of front pages featuring this photo.”

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