Damir Šagolj is a Bosnian national born and raised in Sarajevo.
After living with his family (father was a correspondent for main Bosnian newspaper “Oslobodjenje”) and studying power engineering in Moscow, Damir returned to his hometown Sarajevo just before the war broke in 1992. When the war ended in 1995, Damir was a soldier whose engineering career seemed like a distant dream shattered by a nightmare – this is when he turned to photojournalism.
After a short period as a contractor for Sipa Press, Damir joined Reuters in early 1996 as their Bosnia based photographer. First international assignments came in 1997 – a civil conflict in Albania and a trip to Iran to which Damir will return numerous times – and they never stopped. He spent most of his first decade at Reuters covering conflicts in Balkans and Middle East – mostly Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine – but also other major international news and sport stories across the world. In 2009 Damir moves to Bangkok, Thailand and focuses on news stories in Asia – civil conflict in Thailand, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan, changes in Myanmar, famine in North Korea, legacy of the war in Vietnam… In 2015 Damir moves with family to China, where he stays until 2018 as Reuters chief photographer. Aside from stories in China and among other international assignments, Damir covers war on drugs in Philippines, Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh, tensions in and around North Korea…
In late 2018 Damir leaves Reuters and returns to Sarajevo where he currently teaches photography and contemporary documentary approach at the Academy of Performing Arts of the University of Sarajevo.
He was a 2004 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his Iraq war coverage and 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner as part of Reuters team that covered the Rohingya crisis. Damir’s work received other awards including World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International (POYi), CHIPP, SOPA, Overseas Press Club.
Among other exhibitions, Damir had two solo shows at Visa Pour L’image in Perpignan, France, and a retrospective exhibition, “Through the Looking Glass – First 25 Years”, at WARM Festival 2019, Sarajevo.
Damir holds MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from London College of Communication.
Damir is a co-founder of WARM and is currently WARM’s director.
He is married and father of a beautiful boy.