The series represents a storyboard of life in Serbia.
It starts with my personal surrounding, like Belgrade’s foggy Danube banks, kids and families enjoying our ‘Great War Island’. The series takes you through the story where kids are working and creating and slightly stepping over the line into adult life. I break this up when I introduce the black and white photo of two people talking in the streets of Zemun, during the calm of winter. The next ones are of joy, fun whilst also harbouring an awareness of the recent floods, the various contrasts of human life on a big river.Near the end of the photographic story are the daydreaming photographs of everyday life in Serbia: the market in Subotica; abandoned villages of South-East Serbia; children playing in the river Gradac; baptising in monastery Celije and a kid making his first mosaic in Prohor Pcinski monastery in South Serbia.For Belgrade in particular, I depict the connection between the citizens of the city and the city itself in a few photos such as the lady hanging colourful laundry out in the Savamala district, and the Roma mother with her child, hiding. The Dreamland sign represents both their hope and the emptiness of their expectations, as they fail to be accepted in their towns and countries.
‘Daydreaming Serbia’ is a collection which shows how I would like to see life in my country, not by looking through rose-tinted glasses, but through a slightly different shade. I find I am inspired more by the present moment I find myself in, whether locations and situations , and this often influences me to capture what I see in a more positive and impressionistic manner – as seen in my shots of natural landscapes. However, with ‘daydreaming’ the struggle between life and landscape and documentary photography is always there. The element of dreaming is also important here, as it is more imaginative, it brings to the work a reflection of a subconscious inner-state of mind that sends you messages, or suggests and predicts… it is something of multi-pronged culmination of feelings in the case of my works.
text and photo: Milica Nikolić