Friday, February 4, 2011

Are we there yet?

The design of Rosie Whitehouse's Are we there yet? Travels with my frontline family is a perfect balance of detail and simplicity.  The white background acts as a simple base to on which snapshots of Whitehouse and her family's time in the Balkans are placed.  The finished effect resembles the many layers of history, people, cultures and nationalities at play in the Balkans and covered in the book.

Whitehouse's eldest son Ben at the grave of the Romanian dictator Ceausescu (June 1990), Bucharest

The book itself is a brilliant, fast paced, true story of what it is like to be married war reporter - front line correspondent for The Economist and author, Tim Judah - and what it is like to have one for a dad. It's an account of days out to deserted military museums and Croatian holiday resorts, intersected with sieges, gunfire and bombs as the New Europe was formed in the 1990's.

Ben sketches while Whitehouse's daughter Esti sleeps through the last moments of peace in Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital (February 1992), Sarajevo

Watching events unfold live on TV in the Holiday Inn during the first day of the war in Bosnia (Febuary 1992), Sarajevo

"It’s about being five-years old and wondering why Daddy’s boots are covered in mud from a mass grave. It’s about sitting on the sofa at home and watching cruise missiles rain down on your father’s head - then eating your baked beans and doing your homework."

Ben tries on his Dad's new bulletproof jacket. Whitehouse's mother is in the background (May 1992), Belgrade

This is defiantly a book you can judge by it's cover, it's direct and straight to the point and details everyday life which is as normal as can be without hot water, a stable currency and Frosties.

Ben tries out the podium for size at the ill-feted peace talks at Rambouillet outside Paris, just before full-scale war erupts in Kosovo (Febuary 1999)

Are we there yet? Travels with my frontline family, written by Rosie Whitehouse is published by Reportage Press. See the photo's from Tim Judah's travels on his Flickr page.

Photographs sourced from the Reportage Press Flickr page.

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