Sarajevo bids farewell to legendary agency pool cameraman

 Sarajevo, January 2023: Family, friends, fellow journalists, and former members of the Sarajevo Agency Pool turned out for the funeral of celebrated Bosnian cameraman Muharem Osmanagic – known to his friends as Hare – in Bosnia on Monday (January 23).

Bosnian cameraman Hare in Sarajevo.
Hare lost his battle with cancer in a Sarajevo hospital last Thursday. His sudden death at the age of 62 shocked his friends and former colleagues, who were quick to post their tributes on Facebook page Sniper Alley Photo -

Hare worked as a cameraman in the Sarajevo Agency Pool during the Bosnian war – first employed by WTN and then by Reuters TV. In his capacity working for the Pool, Hare filmed some of the most iconic – and often horrendous – footage of the Bosnian war. His footage swayed opinion, influenced world powers, and provided a dramatic pictorial record of the siege of Sarajevo. His footage was used by almost every TV channel in the world during the 90s.

Often described as a quiet and humble man, Hare had a reputation among colleagues as an agency journalist who ‘just got on with the job of covering wars and disasters, meeting rolling deadlines, and making sure that people and politicians around the world could not say ‘we didn’t know’’.

Paying tribute to Hare, former Reuters TV producer Glen Felgate, who worked with Hare in the Sarajevo Agency Pool in 1994-95, said: “Hare was quiet and timid. Hare rarely spoke. I remember Hare going whole days without saying a word. And when he did have something to say, it was almost invariably to Cenga - usually over a cup of Klelija’s or Rialda's strong Bosnian coffee. Hare was modest and shy in person. He was content to let his pictures do the talking - and how they did!”

Hare's burial in Sarajevo.
The funeral taking place in Sarajevo.
Mourners at the funeral.

According to Felgate, ‘it was Hare, Cenga, Nino and Hanna who covered the bulk of the Bosnian war for us at Reuters TV (and WTN in the legendary Sarajevo Agency Pool) and whose footage was used by almost all the world’s TV channels at one time or another. Together they lived and breathed the story day-in and day-out and were always on hand when mortars landed, snipers fired and Bosnians were killed. As a result, most of the most memorable footage of the siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian war came from them. And they also helped keep us foreign journalists and producers alive too’.

Recounting one of his favourite stories of Hare, Felgate described how Hare and Cenga were both covering a meeting when a Bosnian Serb rocket struck the Bosnian Presidency on Marshall Tito Boulevard (Sniper Alley). According to Felgate, ‘on hearing the explosion and feeling the thud, Cenga urged Hare outside to film – as he always did. They went together – as they always did. They took cover behind a tree. And then another rocket struck! Hare captured the direct impact. His camera shook with the blast’.

Hare's funeral in Sarajevo.
Funeral for Hare.

Paying her own tribute to her former colleague Hare, Reuters Europe Editor, Video, Eleanor Biles said: “When I first arrived in the SAP office as a very annoying young journalist, Hare had just come back from another morning filming on Sniper Alley. He gesticulated to me to sit next to him at the edit pack so he could show me what he had filmed. His video ran about 3 minutes long and showed an elderly man walking along Sniper Alley quite quickly holding a small plastic bag with something in it. ‘Meat,’ Hare told me. He didn’t need to explain to me how difficult that would have been to come by. Jogging next to the man’s leg was a stray dog, who every now and again, in a polite fashion, nudged the man’s hand holding the meat. The man batted the dog away and hurried along the road. Hare looked at me to make sure I was watching closely. After several polite attempts by the dog to ask for the meat, the man halted, opened the bag, and gave the dog some meat before hurrying away again. ‘That is Sarajevo’ Hare said. In just a few moments of his video Hare was able to teach me that the people were what was important in telling the story of the war in Sarajevo, we had to understand the people”.

Mourners at the funeral.

Another international colleague who paid tribute to Hare on the Sniper Alley Photo Facebook page was former WTN/BBC/Reuters TV producer Rob Cole: “Hare was quiet but with a heart of steel. Actually, all that fantastic Bosnian team were incredibly brave and passionate to tell the world what was happening to their beautiful city and country. It was a privilege to have worked with them all”.

Some of the Bosnians who worked alongside Hare in the Sarajevo Agency Pool included Semsudin Cengic (Cenga), Umihana (Hana) Prguda, and Nino Mejdanija. Foreign producers from international news agencies WTN and Reuters TV also worked in the Sarajevo Agency Pool alongside Hare during the Bosnian war. Together they produced some of the most iconic images of the siege of Sarajevo – many of which were filmed by Hare himself.

Some of Bosnia's news agency journalists.
Some of Bosnia's news agency journalists - past and present - (left to right) Nino Mejdanija,
Umihana Prguda (Hana), Semsudin Cengic (Cenga), Samir Krilic, and Asja Rasavac.

Hare was laid to rest in a cemetery in Sarajevo on Monday. Hare is survived by his wife Medzida and their twins Omar and Iman.

RIP Hare. Thank you for everything, from the bottom of all our hearts!
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