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John Palmer


In May of 2014 Serbia was hit by terrible flooding and three quarters of the country was under water. Thousands of people lost their homes and all their possessions, and many were evacuated to stadiums in and around Belgrade.
When I heard about the floods I knew that I had to come and make pictures, not of the flooding it’s self, but of the people who were made homeless by the tragedy. I don’t know why, but it was a feeling from deep inside of me that made me come and try to help and make the world aware of how the people were, and still are, suffering.
When I arrived I was overwhelmed by what had happened, and as I made pictures I was struck by the dignity and friendliness of the people. Without exception they were very happy that I had come to make pictures.
The houses were all empty, all furniture, appliances, personal belongings and clothes were gone; all lost in the water. There was no electricity or water, and the only water they had was bottled water which was distributed to them by the Red Cross and the Army.
At every house I visited, I was offered drinks, coffee or Slivovitz. Coffee made with their precious bottled water on a camping stove in the garden.
In the face of such great tragedy everyone was gracious and very friendly and offered to share what little they had.
This is the Serbian people, and I am proud to say my heart belongs to Serbia!!

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