New York Photo Review
Volume 5 Issue 6 February 11 to 17, 2014

The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino

Death Toll
Ron Haviv

Photo by Ron Haviv . Source: Ron Haviv, "Young Darfuri girls leave a camp for internally displaced persons to gather firewood. Girls as young as 8 have been raped, attacked and killed trying to get wood. "

As war photographer Robert Capa famously said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, then you aren’t close enough.” In Ron Haviv’s first exhibition at Anastasia, he offers ample proof that he has indeed been close enough – and he does not want you to forget it. The 27 color images in the show include 18 countries and the period 1989 – 2012; they cover many of its headline-grabbing conflicts and events–from the wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan to conflicts in Rwanda, Libya and Egypt, among other hot spots.

Photo by Ron Haviv . Source: Ron Haviv, "A Muslim man begs for his life from the Serbian paramilitary unit known as the Tigers and led by warlord Arkan during the first battle for the war in Bosnia. He was later thrown from a window during an interrogation and not seen again. "

Several pictures on display are not easy to look at, but Haviv says, “I believe and have dedicated my life to witnessing history in an attempt to create a body of evidence that holds people accountable.” In fact, he is the co-founder of VII, the photo agency dedicated to covering conflicts. Among the many powerful and disturbing images in “Testimony,” several speak for themselves: one shows members of a Serbian paramilitary unit standing over the bodies of three Muslim men they had just executed; they termed it “ethnic cleansing.”

Photo by Ron Haviv . Source: Ron Haviv, "Remains of Kola Dusmani who was beheaded and burned during the Kosovo war.

Another image from Kosovo shows a man’s beheaded and burned remains; in yet another, a Bosnian family returning home finds all they have left of their belongings is a defaced photograph, the family’s faces scratched off. But Haviv also shows us signs of hope and healing: the 2001 image of colorful burqas hanging in a closet after the Taliban were overthrown in Afghanistan, two soldiers in Kosovo celebrating victory with a kiss, a group of schoolgirls peering through a fence outside of Nelson Mandela’s home after his release from prison. With a moving image of dazed passengers on the Staten Island Ferry viewing the devastation, Haviv takes us back to the days after 9/11. A sad but a beautiful image of a young girl in Sri Lanka seeking shelter in a destroyed mosque, “Girl in Blue” is a almost a welcome change from the horrors we’ve just seen.

Photo by Ron Haviv . Source: Ron Haviv, "Suspected gang members, some wanted for murder, are presented to members of the media by the National Police in San Salvador. Gang violence has grown dramatically since the end of El Salvador’s civil war. As the U.S. began to deport Latino gang members who had illegally made their homes in the U.S., gangs in El Salvador, known as "maras," came to resemble Los Angeles gangs in style and culture. El Salvador" 2005


Ron Haviv's work is also part of the powerful new exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath.

Ron Haviv

Anastasia Photo
166 Orchard St.
Lower Manhattan - East         Map

212 677 9725

Friday, November 1 to
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11 to 7

Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat