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Balkans – The Beast & the Beauties

2000-2002 - Sofia, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Skopje

2003

The word Balkan originates from two Turkish words meaning blood and honey. The media have already sufficiently exploited the blood aspect, therefore during my trips to the region I chose the part of the bee. In an attempt to discover youth I feel I have uncovered delicate flowers emerging from a hard and brutal townscape.
The identity crisis relating to the conflicts of the 90's come from a process of exclusion. Peoples identities were defined by external references such as religion, nationality or ethnic origin. These factors inevitably create physical and mental barriers.
The young people whom I met, however, looked into themselves for their identity, an identity based on their own body, their own self. Limits and boundaries are more the consequence of their own internal struggles. /.../
Personal projects
/.../ Balkan youth are both individualist and transnational, democratic but not coloured by politics. They quietly demand a more favourable social and economic climate in order to control their own destinies. However, as change is slow to come, many of them dream of leaving for a better place, a western Eldorado.
In a discussion with Ismaïl Kadaré, Alain Bosquet observed : "European mentalities come together quickly, without apparent effort (…) Mentally and spiritually Europe is unified, or on the point of unity. The "common market" of spirit already exists but without the need for treaties and summits."
From Sofia to Sarajevo, my itinerary was defined by this spirit, my counterparts, my "compatriots".

To read pictures’ captions click on the images hereunder.

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Sofia, Bulgaria, june 2000.
Maria, model. Sofia, Bulgaria, june 2000.
Marietta, puppeteer. Sofia, Bulgaria, march 2000.
Mira, sassy fashion designer, UFO on the Bulgarian fashion scene. She’s just received an award tonight at the Bulgarian Fashion Awards. Sofia, Bulgaria, march 2000.
Mira, sassy fashion designer, UFO on the Bulgarian fashion scene. Sofia, Bulgaria, march 2000.
Jenie, student in economics. Sofia, Bulgaria, june 2000.
Private party. Sofia, Bulgaria, march 2000.
Private party. Sofia, Bulgaria, march 2000.
Bojana, student in economics. Sofia, Bulgaria, june 2000.
Angelina. Sofia, Bulgaria, june 2002.
Dessy, radio host in Sofia, with her mother who used to be a metallurgy worker in the industrial town of Pernik. Pernik, Bulgaria, may 2002.
Sofia, Bulgaria, june 2000.
Belgrade, Serbia, june 2002.
Ivana, student in journalism and political sciences, and OTPOR activist for a year (the student movement which strongly contributed to defeat Milosevic). Belgrade, Serbia, november 2000.
Ivana, student in Czech language. Belgrade, Serbia, november 2000.
Jelena, actress. Belgrade, Serbia, june 2002.
Belgrade, Serbia, november 2000.
Sanda, painter. Belgrade, Serbia, november 2000.
Dushan, student in fashion design and graphism. He’s gay, his studies allowed him to escape the national service so far, which he fears. Belgrade, Serbia, june 2002.
At Club Anderground. Belgrade, Serbia, november 2000.
Electro party. Belgrade, Serbia, june 2002.
Private party. Belgrade, Serbia, november 2000.
Electro party. Belgrade, Serbia, june 2002.
Belgrade, Serbia, november 2000.
The tower that was constantly bombed by Serbian troops for 3 years, stands as a monument in the middle of the city. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, june 2002.
Edo, contemporary artist and student in painting. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, june 2002.
Enis, dee-jay and composer at Interactive Music Association. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, june 2002.
I am myself. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, june 2002.
Sheila, contemporary artist. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, june 2002.
Naida, industrial designer and cultural events organiser. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, june 2002.
Renovated mosque thanks to funding from Saudi Arabia. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, june 2002.
UN headquarters. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, june 2002.
Skopje, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, may 2002.
Skopje, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, may 2002.
Liliana, cultural journalist. Skopje, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, may 2002.
Miliana, comedian. Skopje, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, may 2002.
Veritsa, comedian. Skopje, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, may 2002.
Trance techno party. Skopje, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, may 2002.
Trance techno party ending, early morning. Skopje, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, may 2002.
Skopje, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, may 2002.

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