Where Are We Now?

I remember a holiday photo taken by a childhood friend in Romania in the 1980s showing a young soldier standing behind an iron fence, staring directly into the lens. It was taken in one of those resorts on the Black Sea where Western capitalists were able to take a cheap holiday, but under supervision. The iron fence and the soldiers have been gone for 30 years now, but the cheap resorts are still there.

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To what extent will the young generation continue to cherish its traditions? Will the man with the synthesizer replace all orchestras? A female student in Romania told me that she found it rather strange that people are willing to share an intimate event such as a funeral or wedding with a foreign photographer. Since 2013 fighting at the other side of the Black Sea has been going on in Ukraine. “What do you think about it?” I ask a young Bulgarian. “I think we are just a pawn in a larger game, as always”, he replied.

This series of photographs was taken between 2007 and 2015 during my travels through Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. A region so close to where I live, but so unknown.