Image: Melanie Friend

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


The police kept shouting, “Better surrender, otherwise we will roast you like a pig and use your skin to make pockets.” My father was shouting back, “Kosova Republic,” “Never die Albania”…then the police began to beat up the children and to hold them in front of them so my father couldn’t fire. Then he started to talk to me and said, “If the bullet hits me from the back, then you may cry for me, because I’ll feel that I have handed over Kosova to Serbia. If the bullet hits me from the front, in my chest, then I don’t want any of you to cry for me.” —from Homes and Gardens (London: Camerawork, 1996)

After visiting Kosovo several times as a journalist, Melanie Friend returned in October 1994 to talk again to the people who had been subject to the Serbian regime’s “slow-motion ethnic cleansing.” Struck by the contrast of sitting in “reassuring and tranquil” living rooms and “hearing tales of torture,” she began a project that documents the “invisible trauma” of living in a police state. Pairing survivors’ graphic testimony about human rights abuses with images of where that violence took place, Friend illustrates the transformation of the most domestic spaces into the most sinister. Her work will be exhibited at the Houston Center for Photography from September 18 to November 1.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest