Photographer:  Marko Stamatović

Camera: Fuji 6500 FD

Place: Doboselica Village, Shumadia, Central Serbia

On the way from Kragujevac to Jagodina, on the slopes of the Gledić mountains, lies a village with the name od Dobroselica. It is composed by a few distant steep and forest grown hills and a dozen houses. This village with an usual name, whose foundation dates back to the Ottoman times, represents possibly one of the last guardians of the folk tradition of Levča i Šumadija, present in this area for centuries. And as if in its name it is contained the fate of migration, the village is slowly starting to fade due to the people leaving it for other paths. By seeing these houses it appears that the wor(l)d has vanished from them, as if the lives of its inhabitants were instantaneously erased, the doors are still wide open, awaiting their return. As many other Serbian villages, Dobroselica was once filled with life and joy, during the day the narrow streets were filled with children playing, fathers went hunting with their sons, and during the holidays, people would gather around the all oak tree, after a procession through the village, and they would dance the traditional dance of kolo.

Today, only a dozen of old villagers remain, and the youngest of them is already well in his seventies. Through a series or around 30 photographs, I have tried to capture the disappearing of the Serbian village, to leave a trace for another, better times, as a warning: this reality is threatening to throw away into the oblivion all the things that make a cultural and social heritage of one people. A people without tradition is a people without future.