…BALKANIOTHEQUE

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Years ago I started a big travelogue on the Balkans. My main purpose was to capture, through my camera lens, the Balkan people, to make a Balkan mosaic and to record those deep, human characteristics, which connect all people across the Balkan Peninsula. Moreover, my intention was to bring back to our collective memory the repressed Balkan identity, which will lead our way over the years to come.

For the needs of this photographic work, I have visited, so far, ten countries, tens of cities, towns and villages, although the most important part is that I was given the chance to meet hundreds of people. Besides, people are the central core of this particular project. The common people you meet when you travel from the long-suffering Srebrenica and the divided Mitrovica, to the cabins of Agio Oros and the slums and suburbs of Pristina, Kosovo, from the alleys and coffeehouses in Constantinople to the northern villages of Albania and to the roma ghettos of Plovdiv and Skopje. From one capital city to another, from one village to another but above all from person to person.

In a time where fences and walls are erected, not only among the Balkan countries but also among the rest of the European countries, what really matters is for people to remain united. Our common fate should be the guiding principle of our thoughts and actions. Thus, we must pinpoint and give prominence to those elements that promote peace. My aspiration is that this project will be able to activate people and ̶ no matter how utopian it may seem ̶ will be the jumping off point for a debate between them. After all, fact is (as it emerges through the project) that what unites people is greater than what divides them.

Agrafa, Greece. A man walks on a path in the mountains of the Agrafa region.
Stolipinovo, Bulgaria. Man with guns during a wedding.
Albania - Kosovo borders. Men in a sacred place.
Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Gravestones at the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery for the Victims of the 1995 massacre.
Sinop, Turkey. Girls gaze at the sea.
Fus Kosov, Kosovo. Α child standing in front of a carousel
Pljevlja, Montenegro. The wife of a Yugoslav Colonel. Photo from the family grave
Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The groom and the bride descend the stairs of their flat.
Fus Kosov, Kosovo. Α baby in his swing inside a house in the suburbs of Pristina.
Skepan Polje, Montenegro. A girl is resting behind the bar counter.
Albania - Kosovo borders. Men in an old cafe in the northest point of Albania.
Evia Island, Greece. A woman, her child and Jesus.
Black Sea, Romania. The sea at night.
Albanian - FYROM borders. Children stand in the mountains that unite the two countries.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria. A boy wearing a mask in a Roma neighborhood.
FYROM-Serbian borders. Orthodox celebrate Theophany Day throwing the cross into the frozen river.
Mitrovica, Kosovo. Walking on the hill in the industrial area
Chalkis, Greece. A man kisses his woman. They were living for months wih their three children in the abandoned Municipal Market.
Nis, Serbia. Roses
Xanthi, Greece. A woman with her grandsons.
Greek - Bulgarian borders. Pomak kids are praying in a mosque.
Belgrade, Serbia. A man with his cat. The last three years he lives in a makeshift house under the Belgrade bridges
Ordu,Turkey. Children collect leaves for food and place them on a map of Turkey and Greece.
Pristina, Kosovo. During a woman's funeral.
Bulqize, Albania. An old Mercedes.
Pristina, Kosovo. The funeral of some UCK fighters who were killed in Kumanovo, FYROM after days of fighting with the army and the police.
Ordu, Turkey. A boy tries to touch the camera.
West Albania. A car carrying a dead man to his village.
Albania - Kosovo borders. During a feast that villagers welcome Spring.
Istanbul, Turkey. A transexual in Tarlabasi, near Taxim Square.
Vares, Bosnia and Herzegovina A factory reminds the Yugoslavian Era.
Kukes, Albania. Men celebrating for the championship that the local team won.
Bulqize, Eastern Albania. Two men and a woman are standing on the road leading to the mine.
Doiran Lake, FYROM. The natural boundary between Greece and FYROM.
Chalkis, Greece. An office in an abandoned factory in the center of town.
Evia Island. A woman from Bulgaria that lives 1000 kilometres far from her house
Belgrade, Serbia. Α child looks through the bus window
Central Romania, The story of Dumitru family.
Pristina, Kosovo. A boy is standing into an abandoned house in the suburbs of Pristina.
Shkoder, Albania. Boys are playing on the ruins of a factory.
Bucharest, Romania. A man inside his home.
Trabzon, Turkey. A woman runs into the ruins of the old town.
Greek - Bulgarian borders. Girls with traditional costumes.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria. A block of flats. Ηundreds of people live there.
Pristina, Kosovo. Men in the old market of town
North-East Romania. Forest.
Mount Athos, Greece. A monk is walking on a path. The last four years he lives alone in cell in the middle of the woods away from civilization
Rodopi Mountain Range. Greeek - Bulgarian borders. Α christian and a muslim woman.
Bosnia and Herzegovina. A landfill near the road.
Tirana, Albania. A prostitute in a room in the centre of the town.
Serbia. View from the aeroplane