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Pick up the pieces

This is the place where people usually find stuff about the author. Factual stuff. You know, "He went to school. He took photographs. He won awards. He had exhibitions." Such things. Not that I cannot write something like that but...

Not here.

I've been living in a town on the coast of the Adriatic for the last several years. I had lived in Zagreb for quite a long time but I'm here at the moment, in my hometown. Šibenik.

There's an ancient saying, "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." I left my hometown a vibrant and busy place. I found it a mere backdrop for tourists who rush through on package tours. It was a shock, really. I did use to come down here every summer but that can not prepare you for winter in today's Dalmatia and empty streets where only stray cats prowl. The town has lost almost all of its industry and a quarter of the population.

At the same time, I was used to living in a city. Although I can easily think of a greater contrast than between Zagreb and Šibenik, it was — again — a shock. And while I wandered around in disbelief at unfamiliarly familiar scenes, I realised one thing.

I am a tourist. I am a tourist in my hometown.

In spite of the car-crash economic situation, for all the neglect, Šibenik still retains a lot of its medieval beauty. So like a good tourist I went out with my camera to try and record it. I couldn't escape the details of decay — broken windows not repaired, futile notices that business premises are for rent, ample signs of abandonment. I did try to incorporate them into the overall display, though. People still live their lives here and tourists don't pay much attention to them in any case. That's particularly the case in the section with photos shot away from the town — Knocking Around — where such things soon recede into the haze of history anyway, especially against the background of fabulous natural beauty Croatia has in abundance.

I pretty firmly believe that photography websites should contain the same sort of thing all the way through. But this website fails the test. You can find street photography, art, architecture, landscape, simple postcards, colour and monochrome — a hodgepodge of types and styles thrown together. For that, I ask your indulgence and forgiveness. I wouldn't change a thing, though. Not even the language in which the website was written. English is lingua franca of our time and particularly suited for tourists like me. So here it is...

Oh, and I hope you'll find photos you like.

Vlatko Jurić-Kokić