Yugoslavia was first born as a kingdom in 1918. Many decades and conflicts shaped it into a country with its unique style of socialism, until it perished in violent civil war beginning in 1991. Today the lands of the former Yugoslavia are six independent states (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia) and the partially recognized Republic of Kosovo.
The exhibition features photographs taken by Martin Karplus during his travels in Europe in 1955. The images are the testimony of a personal journey into cultures, customs and landscapes near and far in time and place. They show the inquiring mind and profoundly humanistic vision of the photographer. They were taken during a point in Yugoslavia’s history when “the Balkans turned into a laboratory for the competition between the Free World and Soviet communism to lead traditional agrarian societies toward modernity,” as Mark Mazower observed in his book The Balkans: A Short History.