What Does Damir Šagolj See?

photographer Damir Šagolj
written by Ivan Lovrenović


he Sarajevan photographer and reporter Damir Šagolj made a contract with a demon – the noble demon who drives the chosen few. His name is Must Be There. This drive combines the eternal wild romanticism of the “old” Byron or the “modern” Blaise Cendrars (embarking on the maiden voyage of the Trans-Siberian railway) and the precision of a master of the trade.


In Šagolj’s photographs there refers to the post-Taliban Kabul. This is where the true story begins, saying that the excitement must first be experienced from within, and that this is a matter of individual talent and of the way one sees the world. A case in point is Pär Lagerkvist’s saying One for whom a pebble has value must be surrounded by treasures wherever he goes! With Šagolj, this intellectual ability is accompanied by his flawless knowledge of the trade. His eye and his photographic machinery function in absolute harmony. This is what it takes to achieve the unity I am referring to: the unity of the reporter’s drive, his inner experience, and visual realisation.