After working 8 years for various local newspapers Aftonbladet, the largest daily newspaper in Scandinavia, employed me. After 10 instructional years, in 1999 I eventually decided becoming a freelancing photojournalist for magzines. I now work regularly as a stringer photojournalist for the largest daily morning newspaper in Scandinavia Helsingen Sanomat in Stockholm.I have also worked as a photoeditor on Dagens Nyheter and Göteborgs-Posten. In 2010 I studied photojournalism at New York Times. Over the years I have been working and traveling in many Eastern European countries like Russia, The Balkans, especially in the Kosovo doing a photo documentary story about the most demolished village in the region – Loxha. But I have also been to places like North Korea and in Sierra Leone, on assignments.
Preface for the book.
While it is true that there is nothing good in war but its ending, the cessation of hostilities often merely replaces one worry with another. For it is only when the guns grow silent and the tanks leave for good that reality begins to sink in. As relatives fail to return and houses lie destroyed, families have to grapple with difficult truths and decide on the way ahead.
A decade after the last bombs fell on Kosovo and a peace deal was finally struck, the images in this collection illustrate that recovery is possible. They demonstrate the remarkable endurance of humanity and the victory of hope.
With the help of more than 400 aid organizations and under the auspices of the United Nations, the people of Kosovo have returned to their villages and have rebuilt their homes. While the political situation remains tense, they have reassumed their lives and begun to build a new future for themselves and their families.
The village of Loxha offers a particularly inspiring example. Åke Ericson takes us on a fascinating journey through the last ten years, as houses are rebuilt from scratch and the village gradually returns to normality. Seen through the eyes of one family, this process offers reason for hope. At the same time, it begs the question why it has not been replicated more often and at scale throughout Kosovo, the region, and indeed the world at large.
Kofi A. Annan
Former Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006)
Published of The bearded lady in Stockholm Sweden.