The cultural life of BiH lost a prominent individual – Alija Aksamija, father of Bosnian photography.
With his name begins the history of photography in BiH. His name was renowned in songs, and one of the most famous photos he made was a portrait of Ivo Andric next to the Visegrad Bridge.
“Alija M. Aksamija was revolutionary photographer and bard of BiH, Yugoslav and European photography, who redefined the portrait photography as an art form through cycles of “random passersby” and contributed to the inclusion of Bosnian photography into the world of creative expression,“ wrote Professor Mehmed Aksamija about his character.
“Aksamija’s impact on photography was immense and his sensual work on portrait photography helped to define the era of Bosnian humanity, which, unlike the portrait photography in the world, which is based on the photography of the spectacle, the face of glory and splendor, offers original humanity, repressed spirituality and beauty before beauty,” says prof. Ibrahim Krzovic, art historian.
However, worldwide recognition of Aksamija’s creative work was achieved thorough the portrait of Nobel prize winner, Ivo Andric.
Simplicity, directness and honesty were always his capital. This is visible in the excellent portraits of fellow citizens, achieved in the series “Passersby III (1953-1970)”. He believed in the simplicity of access to fixing the portrait, as well as the simplicity of the equipment for the fixation of the optical image. One portrait – one shot, is the result of deeply conscious author work of Alija M. Aksamija. In this sense, one portrait – one shot is his author seal.
Due to the specific way of using constructive-content elements, Aksamija was confirmed as one of the first authors who defined his own minimalism in media of photography through long research activities.
He won numerous national and international awards and honors including: the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Independent Professional Photographers of Europe – ‘Nicéphore Niépce’ in the field of creative activity (Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of the highest standards and the creative analog and digital photography) (2008); Award of FEP – Federation of Professional Photographers of South East Europe, who declared him for Exellentia photographie FEP (1998); EUROPHOTO rewarded him with the “Gold coin with the image of Nikola Tesla” for high professional contribution to the photographic medium in Yugoslavia and Europe (1986); the Association of Independent photographer for South Eastern Europe awarded him with the title Exellentia photographie PPofE (1984), and many others.