*Sponsored by Onassis Foundation
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 whe
ou 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 gypsy 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.