In 2006 I was invited to the wedding of my best friend in Serbia. I didn’t know anything about the country, besides that it had been in a war. The four days that I spent there left a great impression on me. I experienced the people as untouched and pure. Although we didn’t speak the same language, I was accepted as one of their own.
For my series Sumadija, I travelled back in 2014 multiple times over the period of one year and lived for more than four months in Kragujevac, the capital of Sumadija in Central-Serbia. This region is known for its nature and its mountains. There is basically no tourism and little influence from the West. People are mostly self-sufficient and farming is their main income.
I experienced Sumadija as a fairytale, in which elements of daily life blend into a magic-realistic world that looks strange for me as an outsider. From an open and honest perspective it captured my curiosity for the region and its people. The photographs convey a sense of humour, a light-hearted touch and a hint of surrealism.