I was born in a country called Yugoslavia. When I was eight
years old, the Winter Olympic Games were held in Sarajevo. I
remember the enthusiastic atmosphere in our school when Jure
Franko, a sportsman from our city, won a silver medal. Not long
after, the European geography changed completely. In our case
it all started in 1991, the day I finished elementary school.
Suddenly, we were not brothers anymore.
The most important events happened first in Slovenia, and then
in Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia. We all have a certain
idea about them. They were one of the main subjects of the media
for several years, so my intention is not to explain or talk
about them again. I just show works about what remains today
of this "celeb" city that hosted the olympic games,
and not only the city itsef, but also a huge area of destroyed
towns in some ex-republics of former Yugoslavia.
Bosansko Grahovo, is a "ghost" city today, but it
was an important center of the region in the past. Inside the
city, which was burned completely, still remain the ruins of
"Dom Kulture Gavrilov Princip" (Gavrilov Princip Cultural
Centre). It was built in the natal city and in the honour of
the man that on June 28th of 1914 killed Franzisch Joseph Archiduque
(Austro-Hungarian Empire's Archduke), initiating the First World
Less than a century and three wars later, the city is mostly
abandoned, but full of recent monuments, tributes to the new
heroes. Many other towns followed the same destiny. There are
entire empty regions. The young people did not return home,
because there was nothing there, no schools, no factories...
Only a few old people came back. International and national
funds came from the same people that had caused the destruction.
It first helped to repair the roofs of the damaged buildings.
More often than not, buildings were only partially repaired,
just enough to allow an old couple to keep living there.
My work doesn't have political or nationalist intentions. I
just place the camera in front of the subjects, trying to take
an "objetive" photograph, even though, I believe it
is difficult for us who were not involved to understand its
An important role in my work is played by the use of a large
format camera, whose operative characteristics strongly influence
or modify the photographer's mental attitude. The location,
framing and exposure are quietly chosen. Execution times are
slow. There's always a meditation behind it, and everything
reflected in these works is unavoidably "in order",
although it represents chaos.
Some of my works are made at night, exploring one of the characteristics
that gives photography an advantage over the human eye in the
darkness. It is able to "ad up" light in large exposures,
registering on the photosensitive film shapes and colours which
are not noticed by our eyes, and therefore perceived in a differerent
1 - Guido
Cecere about Venice, 2003