Somewhere over Grozny
Chechnya and Afghanistan are two countries inseparable in my life as a journalist. I visited each a dozen times in the last fifteen years. However, communication is difficult, culture is far from ours, as is the social life and contrary to what some may believe the fighters are not always majestic. After days of hard work, there is no place to unwind and relax.
In these countries there are cities where I played Russian roulette at every crossroads, valleys where I plunged into madness, mountains where I have forfeited my health, plains where I dug my own grave, nights when fear has brought me to tears, days to fill up nightmares for the rest of my life, battles that would turn men into monsters, full of men no longer human. ...
These are countries in conflict. Countries that need to remember us, we journalists who must testify to these barbaric wars. I have covered Lebanon, former Yugoslavia, Somalia, the Gulf War, Rwanda and others where all but hate has been exhausted, how can these people every live in peace? Yet there is hope: … I will continue to return to Chechnya and Afghanistan as long as the weapons speak, the day that they lay silent, I will return to listen to men.
- Eric Bouvet