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Tobias Bijl, Lost Takes


A beautifully rich photo book with literal layers, papers, and small clippings mixing with one another.

The search for an infamous roll of film from Lieutenant J.H.A. Rutten, who photographed how the Bosnian Muslim population was evacuated by the Bosnian Serbs but mysteriously disappeared. I was asked to design the photobook Lost Takes by photographer Tobias Bijl. 


Lost Takes photobook design


On July 24, 1995, Dutchbat lieutenant J.H.A Rutten returned to the Netherlands, with him he brought back an infamous roll of film. During the fall of the Srebrenica enclave in former Yugoslavia, Lieutenant J.H.A. Rutten photographed how the Bosnian Muslim population was evacuated by the Bosnian Serbs. These were the first signs of what later turned out to be the largest genocide in Europe since World War II. When the revealing roll of film was returned, it was "accidentally" destroyed while being developed in a darkroom at the Department of Defense in The Netherlands. Was it pure bad luck or did it contain images that needed to be kept from the public?

With this project, Tobias tries to find out what was on the infamous roll of film and what happened to the roll.


Lost Takes photobook


Lost Takes is constructed around two storylines that focus on the importance of establishing the truth: On the one hand what took place during the fall of the enclave Srebrenica, on the other hand, what happened to the photo roll afterward.
The photographs of the first storyline focus mainly on the landscape, as silent witnesses of what took place. The second storyline is illustrated with artifacts from the darkroom. In addition, the book uses archival footage, documents, and newspaper clippings to tell the story. The clippings and other documents are enclosed separately inside the book as a symbolic reference to losing the important photo roll. Showing the continual layering of human pain, experience, and recovery. 


Lost Takes photobook design



Tobias Bijl




Photographer Tobias Bijl, editors Ellen Sanders, advice Jos Morree, graphic design studio Asja Keeman, printing house Mart Spruijt, documentation The Book photographer.


Photobook design



Exhibition venue

2018, Frankfurt Book Fair, Germany
2018, Tit, Guangdong Sheng, China
2018, Stedelijk Museum, the Netherlands
2017, De loods,  the Netherlands




2019, Best Debut, Nederlandse fotoboekenprijs
2018, Best Dutch Book Designs 2017
2018, Prix de la Photographie, book category
2018, Prix de la Photographie, book documentary
2017, Anamorphosis prize



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