Today marks 20 years that I went to a war by my own decision and without explanation.
On 24.3.1999 the NATO began a bombing campaign over the former Yugoslavia in order to end the Kosovo war due to the ethnic cleansing that the Serbs where committing against the Kosovo-Albanians in the province of Kosovo (now made country).
That day, I was photographing the collection of a fashion designer when a friend phoned and told me that a friend of his @morganavll, who at the time was working for El Pais, was going to the conflict but if she could she would rather not travel on her own.
At that moment I was in the middle of a shoot photographing the collection of a fashion designer so when the comment arised, I stopped for a moment enough to realise that I was in need of something different and told him:
- Tell her that I'm going with her.
15 hours later I was sitting in a plane, meeting my friend’s friend, about to start the most chilling adventures together.
Around one month lasted that first trip to the border between Kosovo and Albania, because a couple of months after we got back to Spain/UK we did a second one. This time, the trip to Kosovo via Macedonia, went shorter but by far turned much more dangerous.
On a couple of occasions we found ourselves crossing anti-person mine fields, stepping exactly the same steps as the person in front of us so as not to find our extremities scattered around the area. Another day a bomb exploded in a park next to us. On another occasion, while trying to photograph a burning house we came face to face with the Serbian paramilitaries who had caused the fire. Our guide who was driving the car managed to fled at full speed while driving the car backwards while we were targeted with machine guns. We photographed dead people, common graves. We travelled in tractors, crossing rivers, begging that the cameras won’t get wet.
More than once we slept rough where night fell.
A war is an infinite sadness with adrenaline rush all over. I wouldn’t like to be in one again.