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Innocent Bystanders | Saša Petricic

Innocent Bystanders | Saša Petricic

Exhibition runs July 7 to August 6, 2023
Public Reception: July 13, 2023 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm

On the plains of northeast India, dirt flies and birds flee. A goatherd struggles against the approaching monsoon, as even the familiar outline of the Taj Mahal dissolves into a climate upended.

In Nepal’s Himalayas, three women stand at the top of the world — their crop baskets emptied, their day fulfilled — while their universe quakes with aftershocks underfoot.

And in North Korea, haggard faces stare through the scratched window of a subway car, eyes trying to forget the torment of a wretched regime. 
These are the innocent bystanders, navigating a world beyond their control. Trying not to fall through its cracks.

They are people I have come across over decades reporting on the mess around them, their spirit burning itself into my mind’s eye… and into the frames of my photographs.

As a foreign correspondent for CBC, I have gone to places distant, dangerous and closed to outsiders. I’ve covered natural disasters and conflicts around the globe, coming face to face with dictators, refugees and victims of circumstance.

Here, I have turned my camera the other way, toward the people who not only witness calamity as I do, but live it. And their reactions — the glint or gloom in their eyes — speaks volumes.

Sometimes the brighter shades of life shine through, more enchanting than intimidating. The palette of pinks in Japan’s spring. A red kite, tethered to a boy on a Bali beach. 

The magic is in seeing the human soul, endlessly grasping for hope in their human condition.

— Saša Petricic

Saša Petricic is an award-winning photographer, writer and reporter. A native of Toronto and Belgrade, he has spent a lifetime crafting his style of visual storytelling — using photojournalism and artistic photography to capture moments that are unposed, yet deep in colour and atmosphere. 

Saša has spent most of his three-decade career traveling the world as a correspondent for CBC News, bringing compelling stories home to Canadians from every continent – in pictures and words. From postings in Jerusalem and Beijing, he covered wars in Syria, Gaza and Afghanistan, as well as earthquakes, typhoons and uprisings from Haiti to Hong Kong. And always, with an eye for human stories that don’t make it onto the news.