Dorf by Domagoj Burilović
‘Dorf’ is the German word for village. In the 19th century, the Croatian region of Slavonia was inhabited by people from all nations of the Austro-Hungary empire. A fast economic development began with the exploitation of forest and land. Villages became an elementary demographic unit. German colonists made the largest cultural impact through language, crafts and architecture. Instead of building with mud, people started to build with baked bricks – this raised the quality of life.
The irony of history is that today, due to the impact of the war in Croatia and subsequent industry decline, the population is leaving Slavonia for Germany, in search of a better life. With the extinction of the village, the historic houses that became part of its cultural identity are the first to decay. These photographs are a photo montage of houses and local nature. Exploitation of nature was the reason these houses came into being – now this very nature is destroying them