Marko Drobnjakovic | The Last Yugoslavs


Country of origin: Serbia
Project location: Former Yugoslavia
Program: Magnum Foundation Fund
Year: 2017

Yugoslavia, once my homeland, disintegrated in the 1990’s in conflicts that took more than 100,000 lives. Marked by numerous crimes against humanity, these wars shocked Europe with their brutality. 

Out of these tragic events, seven independent states emerged. Debilitated by poverty, nationalism, loss of identity, the new societies fall short of achieving the living standards of former Yugoslavia. History is supplanted by mythology, and the memory of our common past is ignored or systematically suppressed. 

Such is the setting in which the people who still identify as Yugoslavs exist. By forgoing their ethnic identities and embracing a supra-national sense of community – even more than two decades after Yugoslavia’s demise, they tie themselves to the failed society on whose ruins they endure. Their nostalgia is a form of protest, a yearning for security and peace of the past. 

This project is an analysis of causes and consequences of a failed society. Equally so, it is an emotional coming to terms with the collapse of a country that was my home.