Mortar Shells and Cigarettes by Christine Armbruster


I went to Bosnia to photograph what it was like 15 years after the war had ended. I had imagined it to be heavy, but not as complex as it was. At the time I believed in right and wrong, in a simple truth.

However, there is no black and there is no white. There are just a million variations of gray with hardly any way to differentiate between one shade and the next until you have somehow crossed enemy lines and now side with both the defender and the aggressor.

“The only conclusion that I could come to was that this war was not mine.”

There have been eighteen years of recovery, with many more tough years to come. But, life moves on and memories stand still as they turn to dust like the thousands of books in the burnt National Library.This series is a story of the things I witnessed, in a city that I desperately tried to belong to as I looked for anything that could be seen as black and white, like how I once believed things were.

About Christine Armbruster

Christine Armbruster is a documentary photographer who has completed various projects internationally over the last five years. Since the completion of “Mortar Shells and Cigarettes”, Armbruster has traveled extensively to shoot two more projects still being edited. The first in collapsed Soviet towns and the second of Bedouins living in caves in the Arabian Desert. Additionally, Armbruster has blended her documentary interests with her commercial photography degree to work for international clients. Some of these clients have included The Travel Chanel, KT Tape, Blendtec Blenders, The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints, Chicago Cultural Center, Petra Caravan Tours, and Bedouin Brothers Tour Group. Currently, Christine Armbruster lives in Chicago. [Official Website]

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