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  • Near the Bosnian border, March 2008 - The shells of empty houses still pepper the countryside near the borders between Serbia and Bosnia. Serbia and Kosovo Independence, Feb.-March. 2008 Serbia is a deeply divided country. Some Serbs cling to it’s past history while others long to forward into modern Europe. Its economy and international reputation have been ruined by the successive civil wars in the break up of Yugoslavia. Serbia's current leaders, recently re-elected with a thin margin, are pro-western. However, they cannot access the European Union without handing over certain known war criminals to The Hague. The pro-russian hardliners and the old guard of the once powerful Serbian military will not allow this, and have murdered those that would try. The old motor of the economy-- soviet-era heavy industry-- now lies fallow. Thousands of Serbian refugees from other parts of the former Yugoslavia struggle to forge new lives in Serbia proper in an inhospitable environment. So Serbia and its people sit and wait for something to change. The hardest hit area is Southern Serbia near Kosovo, once a productive industrial heartland. There is an expression in Serbia that thranslates something like “the farther south you go, the sadder it gets” or simply “the sad south”. The final insult came with the secession of Kosovo (seen by most Serbs as their heartland) and the hasty recognition of Kosovo independence by a host of nations, including the US and Canada. Kosovo is now a “statelet” in search of an identity-- one that is triangulated by history, Albanian roots, and an influx of money, bad architecture and criminalty from their own diaspora across the rest off Europe. I was able to produce this work thanks to the Lange-Taylor Prize from Duke University that I shared with writer Kurt Pitzer.

  • Leskovac, Serbia, March 2008 - An almost defunct textile factory is seen from the window of a disused power plant in the economically moribund south of Serbia.

  • Mitrovica, Kosovo, March 2008 - Part of the huge Trepce industrial complexe that produced metals and refined minerals lies mostly unused now that Kosovo has separated from Serbia. Part of the factory is in Serbia and the other part is in Kosovo, and the raw materials are mined in different parts of the region as well.

  • A peacock pecks for food in a disused textile factory in the town of Leskovac in Southern Serbia, March 2008. In it's heyday under the communist regime, this factory was successful and kept a variety of animals on its grounds, including deer and several peacocks. The peacocks are the only ones remaining and are fed by an umeployed former factory worker.

  • Nis, Serbia, March 2008 - In this tryptich, a woman from a nearby village sells home-made dairy products in a market in the center of Nis.

  • Railway workers pass the time between trains in a small station on the line that goes from Belgrade to Istanbul. The railway system in Serbia is extremely slow and few people use it.

  • Kragujevac, Serbia, March 2008 - Inside a collective refugee center for Serbs displaced from Kosovo.

  • Kragujevac, Serbia, March 2008 - This Serb woman fled her home in Kosovo in 1999 after NATO drove Serb forces out. She lives with over 100 other Kosovo Serbs in an old supermarket converted in to a refugee center. With the declaration of Kosovo independence from Serbia her hopes of returning home have vanished.

  • Kragujevac, Serbia, March 2008 A Sarb man named Vlado who fled Sarajevo after the Dayton Accord in 1996 has been living in refugee centers around Serbia since that time. He feels it is unsafe for a Serb who fought in the war to return to Bosnia.

  • Bela Palanka, Serbia, March 2, 2008 - 12 year-old Jelena lives with her mother and sister in a one room apartment in a motel. She has been there since 1999, when her family fled Kosovo. This motel has been used as an IDP/refugee center since the Yugoslav civil war. Some of its residents have been there since 1995. There are a couple of hundred people living there, sometimes 4 or more in a single room. Bela Palanka Is a small town in Southern Serbia near Leskovac.

  • Leskovac, Serbia, March 2008 - Women socialize a the local Frizerski Salon in a section of Leskovac. They live near an industrial area that is almost completely shut down and where there are few restaurants or other places to socialize. Like many serbs, they are heavy smokers.

  • Belgrade, Serbia, March 2008 - A young woman takes the escalator out of the subway. She is seen through the blue painted graffiti sprayed during the protests against Kosovo independence in February 2008.

  • Leskovac, Serbia, March 2008 - An elderly Serb fishes by the bridge at Visegrad, on the river Drina a few hundred meters from the home of Iva Andric, Nobel perize-winning author of the "The Bridge on the Drina". During the Bosnian War, muslim prisoner were executed on the bridge and their bodies dumped in the river.

  • Near the Bosnian border, March 2008 - The shells of empty houses still pepper the countryside near the borders between Serbia and Bosnia. Serbia and Kosovo Independence, Feb.-March. 2008 Serbia is a deeply divided country. Some Serbs cling to it’s past history while others long to forward into modern Europe. Its economy and international reputation have been ruined by the successive civil wars in the break up of Yugoslavia. Serbia's current leaders, recently re-elected with a thin margin, are pro-western. However, they cannot access the European Union without handing over certain known war criminals to The Hague. The pro-russian hardliners and the old guard of the once powerful Serbian military will not allow this, and have murdered those that would try. The old motor of the economy-- soviet-era heavy industry-- now lies fallow. Thousands of Serbian refugees from other parts of the former Yugoslavia struggle to forge new lives in Serbia proper in an inhospitable environment. So Serbia and its people sit and wait for something to change. The hardest hit area is Southern Serbia near Kosovo, once a productive industrial heartland. There is an expression in Serbia that thranslates something like “the farther south you go, the sadder it gets” or simply “the sad south”. The final insult came with the secession of Kosovo (seen by most Serbs as their heartland) and the hasty recognition of Kosovo independence by a host of nations, including the US and Canada. Kosovo is now a “statelet” in search of an identity-- one that is triangulated by history, Albanian roots, and an influx of money, bad architecture and criminalty from their own diaspora across the rest off Europe. I was able to produce this work thanks to the Lange-Taylor Prize from Duke University that I shared with writer Kurt Pitzer.

  • Leskovac, Serbia, March 2008 - An almost defunct textile factory is seen from the window of a disused power plant in the economically moribund south of Serbia.

  • Mitrovica, Kosovo, March 2008 - Part of the huge Trepce industrial complexe that produced metals and refined minerals lies mostly unused now that Kosovo has separated from Serbia. Part of the factory is in Serbia and the other part is in Kosovo, and the raw materials are mined in different parts of the region as well.

  • A peacock pecks for food in a disused textile factory in the town of Leskovac in Southern Serbia, March 2008. In it's heyday under the communist regime, this factory was successful and kept a variety of animals on its grounds, including deer and several peacocks. The peacocks are the only ones remaining and are fed by an umeployed former factory worker.

  • Nis, Serbia, March 2008 - In this tryptich, a woman from a nearby village sells home-made dairy products in a market in the center of Nis.

  • Railway workers pass the time between trains in a small station on the line that goes from Belgrade to Istanbul. The railway system in Serbia is extremely slow and few people use it.

  • Kragujevac, Serbia, March 2008 - Inside a collective refugee center for Serbs displaced from Kosovo.

  • Kragujevac, Serbia, March 2008 - This Serb woman fled her home in Kosovo in 1999 after NATO drove Serb forces out. She lives with over 100 other Kosovo Serbs in an old supermarket converted in to a refugee center. With the declaration of Kosovo independence from Serbia her hopes of returning home have vanished.

  • Kragujevac, Serbia, March 2008 A Sarb man named Vlado who fled Sarajevo after the Dayton Accord in 1996 has been living in refugee centers around Serbia since that time. He feels it is unsafe for a Serb who fought in the war to return to Bosnia.

  • Bela Palanka, Serbia, March 2, 2008 - 12 year-old Jelena lives with her mother and sister in a one room apartment in a motel. She has been there since 1999, when her family fled Kosovo. This motel has been used as an IDP/refugee center since the Yugoslav civil war. Some of its residents have been there since 1995. There are a couple of hundred people living there, sometimes 4 or more in a single room. Bela Palanka Is a small town in Southern Serbia near Leskovac.

  • Leskovac, Serbia, March 2008 - Women socialize a the local Frizerski Salon in a section of Leskovac. They live near an industrial area that is almost completely shut down and where there are few restaurants or other places to socialize. Like many serbs, they are heavy smokers.

  • Belgrade, Serbia, March 2008 - A young woman takes the escalator out of the subway. She is seen through the blue painted graffiti sprayed during the protests against Kosovo independence in February 2008.

  • Leskovac, Serbia, March 2008 - An elderly Serb fishes by the bridge at Visegrad, on the river Drina a few hundred meters from the home of Iva Andric, Nobel perize-winning author of the "The Bridge on the Drina". During the Bosnian War, muslim prisoner were executed on the bridge and their bodies dumped in the river.