In 2006 I started What Remains: The People of Blata project, in order to preserve the spirit of a small—war-ridden—town in Croatia. The oldest name for Blata is Pliskovo, which can be found in almost every Slav province. It represents a place by a lake or a pond. The name of this Croatian town became known in the 17th century, during the emigration of the Serbian population. Blata did not have a church or feudal goods.
People lived a rent-free life but they often abandoned the surrounding towns which were, in the very beginning, populated by the army that protected the borders from the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. Soon-after, the families of the soldiers joined their loved ones on this military frontier, known as Krajina, which ultimately lead to an incipient civil disorder.
Very soon, this town will be forgotten. Most roads have disappeared and almost every house is now covered in moss. The colorful pastures and orchards are long gone, buried under wild plants and the farmland has become wild. Since 2006 I have been photographing Blata, interviewing, and enjoying the company of the people blessed with rich character. This project is for them.