Project info

Made to mark the 10th anniversary of the siege and destruction of Vukovar, a Croatian town sitting on the Danube close to the Serbian border.

I made two visits to Vukovar back in 2000 and 2001, spending about two weeks for each visit and staying with different families, both Serb and Croat. I went there as part of my final project at university although the trip was sponsored by BBC Wales who also gave me a hand finding contacts there. A couple of NGOs, the EC monitoring mission and local journalists and politicians also helped out.

During my first visit I produced a series of images which looked at general aspects of the town - work, society, rebuilding - trying to understand something of the complex situation there and making photographs that were suggestive but not dramatic. My intention was to offer an alternative to photojournalism which is often short-term in it's outlook and tends to dwell on the dramatic nature of war. I wanted to make quieter images, looking for signs of progress but also of remaining conflict or tension within familiar contexts such as the home, social club or factory.

For my second visit I decided to concentrate on the Borovo shoe factory and workers colony just outside Vukovar. As one of the main employers in the region, and something of a communist ideal in it's heyday, it seemed to represent many of the problems facing the town as a whole in terms of both physical destruction and social change.