vor 2 Monaten
On Thursday, february 10, 2011, A forgotten promise stops at the publishing house and library Traficantes de Sueños in c/Embajadores, 35 in Madrid, Spain. Some information in advance: during the Kosovo War in 1999 the Kosovo Liberation Army expelled tenthousands of Roma from their Kosovo homeland, forcing them to take refuge in Serbia or, in the case of Mitrovica, in the northern part oft he city, mainly populated with serbs. After the war, they called not return to their destroyed neighbourhood in southern Mitrovica, the Roma Mahalla, an das IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) they were settled by the UNMIK administration on the slack sleaps of the Trepca lead mines, a highly polluted area, some called it the major environmental disaster in Europe. But the already discriminated Roma suffered from more than just the dramatic effects of social exclusion, for more than a decade they are forced to live, to birth and to bring up their children and, of course, to die, in lead-poisened air and on lead-poisened soil, drinking poisoned water. Yet, in 2011, there is no hope and still there is no one who feels responsible, nor the local administration, neither the United Nations itself. A forgotten promise is just a glimpse into the suffering and the difficulties of daily life of more than 600 people living in the camps of Osterode and Cesmin Lug in Mitrovica, Northern Kosovo.
Finally - DAV Panorama will publish my photo-essay and article about the Beshket e Namuna, the Cursed Mountains, in their summer issue 2011. Also known as Prokletije or Albanian Alps, the Beshket e Namuna is a mountain range in the Balkans that extends from northern Albania, to southwestern Kosovo and eastern Montenegro. Its highest point, Jezercë in Albania with 2,694 m is the tallest peak in the entire Dinaric Alps. Beshket e Namuna is a wild, myth-enshrouded region full of hidden pleasures...
Talking to elderly people near the village i spend most of my time in Spain I noticed that almost everybody has worked abroad, in Germany or Switzerland, for some years. The experiences they made interested me from the beginning, perhaps this could be a nice portrait project for the near future... In recent history, poverty of rural Spain after the civil war led to a shift in population as hundreds of thousands of Spaniards moved out of the poor south and west in search of jobs and a better way of life. Between 1950 and 1980, more than 5 million Spaniards left the country, first for the prosperous economies of France and the Federal Republic of Germany, then for the industrial regions of Spain itself.
Building cranes, remainings of construction activities, empty, muddy spaces and wet asphalt: this is the aspect oft he macro urbanization called after ist promoter Francisco Hernando or Paco El Pocero near the town of Seseña, in the province of Toledo, only about 40 kilometers south of Madrid. After passing a pompous monument dedicated to this building tycoon the visitor enters a ghost town. The shutters of most oft he more than 6.000 flats are closed since the construction oft he buildings, in most oft hem never lived anybody, a boy passing the street with his dog, talking with his cell phone, produces an almost irreal echoe and feels almost as an unsettling and weird presence… Behind of this sad monument to speculation made of concrete and steel, another example for mismanagement and greed: over 10 acres of soil covered with old car tyres, more than 30.000 tons of rubber, supposed to be recycled, someday or somehow. Now it is known as the „black sea“, a stinking ocean separating Seseña and Valdemoro…