After Oluja

Full captions : www.jeremysaintpeyre.com

«Here, lost memory feeds the desert.
Near the fire that days do not feed,
The buried complaint and hidden treasure remain.»
– Branko Miljkovic
 
Serbia and it’s capital city, Belgrade, have been bombed on several occasions in the last century, most recently in 1999. Having lived through World War II, Tito, the Yugoslav wars and Slobodan Milošević, the city is slowly coming back to life.
 
Operation Oluja was the last battle in the Croatian War for Independence, resulting in a mass exodus of Serbs from Croatia, and a humanitarian crisis. It is an important marker in contemporary Serbian culture.
 
“Oluja” means storm.

--

«Là le souvenir égaré nourrit le désert.
Près du feu dont ne se nourissent pas les jours
La plainte enfouie et le trésor caché demeurent.»
– Branko Miljkovic

Au cours du siècle dernier, Belgrade et la Serbie ont été bombardées à plusieurs occasions, la dernière fois en 1999. Après la seconde guerre mondiale, Tito, les guerres d’Ex-Yougoslavie, Slobodan Milošević… le pays revient doucement à la vie.

L’opération Oluja fût l’une des dernière bataille de la guerre d’indépendance croate qui s’ensuivît d’un exode massif des Serbes de Croatie et qui se transformât en une crise humanitaire. C’est un évènement important dans la culture serbe contemporaine.

“Oluja” veut dire tempête.

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After Oluja

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NATO flyer dropped on Belgrade. On the right one, next to Slobodan Milošević portrait : "War is a sacrifice for you. For him, his family and friends it's good money." During summer 2000, former Serbian President Ivan Stambolić was abducted, his body...
Bus 96.
Krnjaca refugee camp. "We came from Knin in Croatia. I was a biology teacher. I was in Knin during Storm Operation, my wife and sons escaped before those days. Since we are in Serbia, it is the 20th year we are spending as refugees, this is the second...
Krnjaca refugee camp. "We have two sons, one of them live with us, the other one got married and is now living in the USA. We witnessed murder, rape, ethnic cleansing of our people. We have been visited by UN, the Serbian government, NGO, etc... The...
"Our purpose here is to set a place where people can watch non-commercial movies, as well to support Serbians directors. Around a year ago, a hundred of us took over the theater, it was a spontaneous action... Since then, we are here. The authorities...
Zvezda theater. Luka, with the 35mm projector for the open air screen.
Borča neighborhood.
Centar za integraciju mladih dropping shelter. Blok 38, Novi Beograd. "This is the only category of children that we are working with. Children who are involved in living or working in the streets of Belgrade. Sometimes we have children from some other...
Roma settlement, Novi Beograd. "We are visiting around 25 settlements in Belgrade. We have at the moment around 400 active beneficiaries of our services. Around 280 are visiting our two dropping shelters on a monthly level, the rest of them we are...
Camp Roms, Nouvelle Belgrade. "On visite environ 25 camps sur Belgrade. Ce qui fait 400 bénéficiaires actifs. Environ 280 passent par nos abris tous les mois. Les autres on les rencontre sur les activités extérieures. De ces 400 enfants et jeunes ados...
Mihajla Pupina boulevard.
Kumodraška Shelter for Homeless People. Voždovac area. "This institution's aim is to help people, homeless peoples, elder peoples in an emergency situation. We are a social sector emergency service. Every peoples are welcome here, with psychic issues...
Kumodraška Shelter for Homeless People. Voždovac area. "People can stay here up to six months. With the cold, we expect to reach 200 residents, we will put disposable beds, it is better to use improvised solution than letting people on the streets. 10%...
Kumodraška Shelter for Homeless People. Voždovac area. An employee in her office,originally from Kosovo, she came to Belgrade to study and stayed as there is "no real future for the Serbs in Kosovo anymore." ”We do not have break in our job, either we...
Blok 70, Yuri Gagarin Street.
A former soldier from the Yugoslavian Wars at a veteran association local in Zemun, Belgrade.  «After five years of war, I have no veteran right, not in Serbia not in Croatia... I won’t tell you my story, but I can let you know the one of my twin...
A former red cross worker at a veteran association local in Zemun, Belgrade.  «Those who lost limbs got some help from the state, it’s not much, but it’s something... with PTSD, we don’t have access to any help. It’s a hidden disability.  I was in...
Aviation museum, near Nikola Tesla airport. Surčin.   «I love my wife. At night I have nightmares, I’m screaming, it happens that in my dreams I beat my wife. Pictures from the past are haunting me, now everything is burned down. We are lying to...
Prayer before lunch in a community of The land of the living center for drug addict near Novi Sad.   Men come from different background : from farmer to director of a prestigious artistic institution. Addictions are from alcohol to heroin through...
In a community of The land of the living center for drug addict near Novi Sad.   «At lunch, if you curse, you’ll have to stand up in front of everybody and apologize, you’ll have to do the dishes for the day too. They wake up at 6:30 am and go to sleep...
Andrei. «I was here because I was a drug addict. Five years ago I started to volunteer here, for two-year, I’m a coordinator. You start because you are curious, because you want to be cool, because you lack confidence. You got to accept your past and...
Genex tower. The cylindrical element in the summit had to be a revolving restaurant. It has never opened. Belgrade.
Krnjaca refugee camp.  «I’m 19. I’m from Somalia. I left seven months ago. I came here from Greece, before that : Turkey. Crossing the sea was frightening. Around 65 people on a boat. The driver didn’t know the way. People from Syria, Pakistan...
Krnjaca refugee camp.  «There are Syrians near the bus station. They set some tents. From what I could hear, peoples in Serbia seems to be nicer to them than in Bulgaria or Hungary. I think it’s because many people in Serbia knows what war is.»
Danube river.
Maja, born in 1990.   «I remember the initial shock from the first bombardment of 1999 that fell near our place. My parents had to slap me to take me back to reality. After that, the thing came back to normal. My parents were frightened, shop’s shelves...
Bratislav, born in 1958. Maja’s dad.  «I watched the 1999 bombing of the defense ministry live, not on TV, live with my eyes. When they also hit the national TV building, we, at Studio B also had to move, we were scared of being targeted too. Even if...
Svetislav daughter’s cat’s. Borča neighborhood.  «Her mother, she is a capitalist.»   Svetislav lived in Paris with his parents when he was a child. They built the house he is sharing with his daughter, he got the ground floor, she got the first floor.
An inmate in the inner yard of Padinska Skela maximum security prison. Beograd outskirts.  The prisoners are walking vigorously. There is no view on the outside. According to the spokesman of the institution, it is planned to install plants in the...
Chapel of the Padinska Skela maximum security prison. Beograd outskirts. The facility is one of the latest built and is housing around 150 prisoners in good conditions. The average sentence is around 20 years, the minimum being 15 years and the maximum...
Pančevački bridge.  «My father fought the war in Bosnia, he told that if it were to happen again, he wouldn’t hesitate to leave.»
Aleksandar.  «It’s not that hard to be gay in Belgrade; I kissed a guy in the middle of a nightclub, and I have never had any problems. Upcountry is another story.»
PanErotica, Serbian porn magazine, late 90’s edition.  «Together with friends who are also HIV positive, we started an NGO in 2010. There is now after five years around 120 people that use ou services. We distribute medicine, for people in and out of...
«I’m Gordana Mitrovic, 42 and transgender. What I do for a living... activism, giving lectures... I’m in public life for five years. I was the main character in «When I was a boy, I was a girl». It is a short documentary which was featured in Berlin...
Josip Borz Tito portrait in a workshop of Padinska Skela correction facility, Belgrade outskirts.  «I lived in Beograd all my life, my parents moved to Novi Beograd when I was one (late 1980’s), before that we were at my grandmother place. At that time...
Goran, Serbian patriot, a member of the war veterans association and former security worker.   «I just want to say that people shouldn’t say bad things about Russia or Serbia.»
Easter egg. Serbia is mostly Orthodox Christian. For Easter, there is the game of cracking egg: two people competes by holding their egg in their hand and tapping at each other’s egg. The goal is to crack the other player’s egg. The winner takes the...
Aleksandra, 30 years old, English teacher at Beograd University.  «In 1994, I was 8, the wars in Bosnia and Croatia started. I don’t remember very well this one, but I have clear memories of the 1999 bombings. There was no sign of war in Beograd in...
Dušan. born in 1989.   «I work as a dispatcher for a USA ATM fixing company. I work at night while it’s the day there. Yesterday I was working Miami. Workers are mostly nice guys, they ask questions (i have an accent). One of them was a former USMC...
Krnjaca refugee camp. "I lived in Belgrade for 23 years, since 5 years I'm in here. I was born in Croatia, 1954. I graduated from Political Science faculty in Zagreb, my first solo exhibition was in late 70's. I worked as a clerk. In 1986 I decided to...
Duro Maodus, painter, Krnjaca refugee camp.
Krnjaca refugee camp.
An old lady goes to the bus to Belgrade.  «There was this change in everyone’s attitude, and all of a sudden all were scared for their life. Those bombings were supposed to unite people against Milošević, but it was the other way around. Of course...
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