A 2010-2011 quest for Bosnian Serb war criminal Ratko Mladic
A phrase in Serbian and Bosnian, it means to ‘catch fog.’ Used by a Bosnian man to me one afternoon in the rural wilds of eastern Bosnia, while drinking rakija, he used it to sum up the sixteen year-old hunt for ex-General Ratko Maldic, the most wanted man in the world after Osama bin Laden.
Indicted in 1996 for genocide and other war-crimes by the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, at the time Mladic was still on the run nearly twenty years later. He was sheltered and protected by diehard nationalists still loyal to him and the regime of now-dead ex-President Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia. Following the traces of Mladic, through the images of the places where he has been, stayed, lived, operated, hidden and visited, I reflect on his past, his sordid history and his grotesque legacy, but also of his enduring, immutable iconic status for the Serbian nationalist old guard.
Mladic was arrested on 26 May 2011 in Lazarevo, northern Serbia and on 22 November 2017 ICTY sentenced him to life imprisonment.