Ferida Osmanovic


While choosing images of a genocide for this project, I stumbled upon an image of a woman, Ferida Osmanovic, who had hung herself in the woods while fleeing from Srebrenica. At first this image seems serene though slightly strange because she is so close to the tree. It’s only until we notice that her feet are suspended that we realize she is dead. It’s a haunting image, and sadly the only one her family has of her (Martin). I’ve decided to include her image in my discussion of Srebrenica to highlight the experience the women had during the fall. They weren’t among those killed in this instance of Serbian violence, but violence against women was happening all over the country. Ferida represents the fear the women and children felt as they were being transferred by Serb forces. She had no idea if she was going to be let go, taken to a rape camp, or killed. She chose to take her own life instead of finding out her fate. Her story helps us see how terrible the situation was for everyone, not just those who died, and her image is the only one I have of victims where they actually look human. I believe that adding her story to that of the 8,000+ victims shows us that this wasn’t the only case of violence and that men were not the only target.