Ethnic Albanian Kosovars arriving in Skopje, Macedonia after fleeing Serb aggression in the disputed province of Kosovo.  Hundreds of thousands of refugees are pouring into Albania and Macedonia, as Serbian forces execute a "scorched-earth policy" in Kosovo.

Kosovo refugees photograph by Peter Turnley

Photograph by Peter Turnley

Skopje, Macedonia (Sunday, April 4, 1999)

I miss my father who passed away one year ago, and I don't get to see my wonderful mother often enough. They have always been my best friends, and have kept my heart warm and secure when my world felt shaken and unsure.

Today, as I watched men, women and children being carried in blankets, dehydrated and delirious, on the verge of leaving a world that ties their hearts to their loved ones and the special poetry of their living existence, I could feel the swell of hundreds of thousands of broken hearts, and the anger that maybe too many people might conveniently ignore their muffled screams. 

We don't talk often enough to each other about the things we really care about. As I, again, watch people being carried away on stretchers, in a refugee camp, while the local army and policemen look on, enjoying every second of their abusive power that belittles us all, I find myself turning to my camera, and my accelerated energy to save myself from a hopeless disorientation, and perhaps a fruitless - but honest - belief that hopefully anyone who sees what I see will take the time, in some way, to make it a little bit better.

I can't stand it when people force their morality on others. I can only hope that with this all-encompassing destruction, that a mutual sense of loss will encourage us to regain what we have lost, and provoke us to search for what is essentially good. We need a lot of good luck and love. Happy Easter.

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