'A bit of normality' … Sean Smith's photograph of a Kosovan child. Photograph: Sean Smith for the Guardian

'A bit of normality' … Sean Smith's photograph of a Kosovan child. Photograph: Sean Smith for the Guardian

This was taken in Mitrovica, Kosovo, a year after the Serbian army had left and the UN had gone in. I found a bit of normality here: a kid going to school carrying his knapsack. Except this isn’t normal; he’s going to school, but walking in the other direction, a group of men are carrying coffins.

There had been many massacres during the war, with people (mainly Albanians) being taken away and executed, and there were many mass graves. Every time someone found one, the bodies of people buried there would be dug up so that relatives – and war crimes investigators – could find out what had happened. Here a small unmarked grave of six or eight bodies had just been discovered, and local men were going to take the bodies away.

• Sean Smith’s book Frontlines is out now, with an exhibition at Kings Place, London N1, until 30 September. Details: 020-7520 1485/kingsplace.co.uk

Source:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/aug/21/best-shot-sean-smith