“I was a graduate student studying English literature and I went to a refugee camp in Gaza for the first time. I was so horrified by what I saw that my life changed forever. I could not go back to my safe academic world of books and essays. I ended up changing my entire life, basically staying in Israel.
Then the war in Bosnia came – and the thing about the war in Bosnia was that it very much was my generations’ Vietnam. We truly believed that we had an obligation on many levels to report it, mainly because no one wanted to hear about it after a while; they were confused by who was on whose side: who was the good guy, who was the bad guy. But there was a human story there that really needed to be told.
The way I’ve always worked — and I was very much inspired by Martha Gellhorn – was to report the human side of war. Not the armies, not the kind of gun power or what weapons were being used. What mattered to me, what I felt could convey the horror war most clearly to the public, was to tell the human story. — May 2007
Janine di Giovanni is a correspondent for the Time of London and author of Madness Visible: A Memoir of War (2003); Ghosts by Daylight : Love, War, and Redemption (2011). She appears in “No Job For a Woman”: The Women Who Fought to Report WWII.