Saša Čolić

Documentary photographer based in Belgrade, Serbia

Dear Tamara

On May 13th, 2014, heavy rainfall ravaged parts of Balkans, resulting in the worst flooding the countries have seen in 120 years.  A cyclone dubbed Tamara hit southeastern Europe and, over only a few days, doused it with three months worth of rainfall. Relentless torrents swelled rivers and tributaries, breaching banks and bursting levees. The brunt of the surge swept through Bosnia, Serbia, and eastern Croatia, toppling bridges, swallowing up towns, and savaging miles of countryside. The governments of Serbia and Bosnia declared states of emergency and deployed rescue teams to evacuate survivors in the worst hit areas-where floodwater were lapping at roof eaves. Caught by surprise and inadequately warned, residents corralled family members into boats and toward any available elevation, scrambling to save provisions and livestock and heirlooms and pets. For those who had lived through the region’s wars, it was the second time in their lives that they had lost everything. Covering the aftermath of the floods I was interested in seeing how the relief efforts worked in Serbian areas that are not supporters of the current government.

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