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Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace

Opening screen from "Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace"

Opening screen

I’m happy to say that the Website project that photographer Gilles Peress and I did in 1996 for the New York Times on the Web (at that time with 70,000 subscribers), can now be found online once again on the New York Times server. Nominated in 1997 for the Pulitzer Prize in public service by the Times and then immediately rejected because it was not on paper, Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace–about an attempt to create peace after four years of horrific slaughter–used hypertext and photography to try and immerse the reader/viewer in the Bosnian post-war experience. We were, in effect, attempting to make the reader into both a collaborator and co-author (I called this approach “hyperphotography” in my book, After Photography). One reader told me it took her four hours to go through the project.

I highly recommend that people take a look (be aware that it was created before cable and DSL, at a time of telephone modems with lengthy downloads and small screens) and ask why others don’t try to extend the hypertextual model and push it further. After all, in a time of “citizen journalism” why are viewers not encouraged to be essential participants in extracting meanings from world events, both in the act of reading and of commenting? That is what this site tried to do: to explore the limits of journalism, and to expand the conversation. We need many more such experiments, and even more paths to peace.

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