We want to make sure we get Boogie’s words right on here… so read on…
I just came back from a 3 day trip around south-eastern Serbia with my friend Rastko. I’m still overwhelmed, it’ll take some time for everything to sink in. But I think I finally realized that my country is dying.
One thing is to hear about dying villages, deserted houses and abandoned pastures, it’s completely different to see it for yourself, and feel the energy. Villages that after WWII had the population of SIX HUNDRED for example, now have SIX OLD PEOPLE living there, and even they go away during the winter (check out the population diagram for the village of Papratna). There are no young people there, no children. In one village that we visited, there was one little girl, the only child in the village – but man, she has no kids to play with. It all breaks my heart!
There are hundreds, even thousands of abandoned decaying houses that nature is taking over. And nature is amazing there, wild as hell, there are wolfs, wild hog, deer … The destruction of Serbian villages was started by the communists after WWII. Slobodan Milosevic just carried it on in the 90s, and the people that are in power now have finished it off. I know it’s a global trend, to destroy small producers and let the corporations run rampant, but this is my country so it hurts more. You would think that certain things like your nation’s future, are not for sale , but I guess when you are a politician that sold his soul to the devil, you don’t care anymore.
My feeling is that dark days are around the corner, and having some good land somewhere will be very important (so you can grow your own tomatoes and not have to eat genetically modified shit and die young:). In the village of Papratna for example, you can buy a house and a piece of land for 500 euro… just so you know.
Photos by Rastko Samurovic.