Josip Mihaljevic / Keith Holmes

March 5, 1998 - March 28, 1998

Image © Josip Mihaljevic/ Keith Holmes

Image © Josip Mihaljevic/ Keith Holmes

Josip Mihaljevic / Keith Holmes

In 994 a colleague gave me a box of negatives that had been thrown away in the town dump in Pakrac, Croatia. Most of the 4×5 negatives were ruined, but about 100 were viable, and I printed them eagerly. The images are strong portraits in their own right, but are even more valuable with the passage of time. They look back to a period when Serbs and Croats in Yugoslavia were on much better terms, calling into question the simplistic idea that “ancient hatreds” caused the recent war. Displaying these images with my own photographs, taken in the same town 30 to 40 years later, brings this point home in a visually powerful and disconcerting way. In 1997, with help of a Travel/Study Grant from the Jerome Foundation, I was able to establish the identity of the photographer- Mr. Josip Mihaljevic- and speak with people who knew him.