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Phantom pains
93 James Mason

Phantom pains

Tuzla hospital

This Bosnian soldier lost his leg to a mortar at Srebrenica. He had been brought to Tuzla by the Brits. His wife and kids were also in Tuzla, but he was afraid to contact them because he'd lost his leg. "I'm just not ready to deal with that," he said to me. He was having pains in the missing leg, phantom pains they are called, and he said it was strangely disturbing.

Canon EOS-1 ,20-35 2.8L

other sizes: small medium original
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James Mason28-Feb-2004 00:47
Fisrt of all, I believe in talking to people when I photograph them. I speak Serbo-Croatian, the main language spoken in the former Yugoslavia, and I was talking to this guy. I snuck him a pack of Marlboros, tucking them under the covers so the other patients couldn't see them. That way he had control over who got one...in a stressful situation people are desperate for cigarettes. This guy's wife and kids were in Tuzla when he was wounded. They brought him to the city when his leg needed surgery...and now he was afraid to contact them. He was a vulcanizer before the war and was worried about how he was going to make a living. Never mind there weren't any jobs...eventually he called his wife and the last time I saw him he was getting along better.

James Mason
Alaska
Guest 24-Feb-2004 07:36
That poor man. How did you build the rapport to get such an open photo?