Danas sam počeo da radim na nekim fotografijama sa poslednjeg putovanja na Krf. Fotografije su nastale prošle godine… ili je to bilo pre dve godine… hm… možda su prošle i čitave tri godine…
Da, da, znam, kasnim sa obradom fotografija toliko da je to prosto neopisivo i gotovo neoprostivo. Treba mi mnooogo slobodnog vremena da to sve zaostale poslove završim. U moju odbranu – obrada fotografija je kreativan proces. Nije to rešo pa u struju. Uključiš i gotova stvar. I za pisanje i za obradu fotografija treba da se poklope neke zvezdice.
Pa da… umem ja da utešim sebe… naročito kada sam lenj kao buba 😉
Dok sam pokušavao da dovršim obradu nekih fotografija iz tog serijala, shvatio sam da već satima radim na vrlo prosečnim fotografijama. Prosečnim čak i za mene. Bez ikakve teme, plitke, fotografisane pod najgorim podnevnim svetlom, bez ikakve strukture… Sve u svemu, tih par sati obrade fotografija se ispostavilo kao potpuno gubljenje vremena. Ali, za mene su te fotografije imale neku lepotu, svežinu, sadržaj. Iz njih su se pomaljala neka sećanja, neke duboke emocije, neke uspomene. A najbitnije od svega, te fotografije su imale ogromnu važnost za mene iz jednog vrlo jednostavnog razloga: snimljene su na Krfu!
Pre dosta godina jedan blogerski sajt me angažovao da napišem nekoliko reči o Krfu i da pokušam da dočaram tu čarobnu vezu između Srbije i ovog ostrva. Posle dosta razmišljanja napisao sam polu-biografsku priču čiji je akter nastao kao mešavina mojeg pradede i jednog drugog pretka, Vasilija zvanog Vasa, čiju sam sudbinu čuo od njegovog praunuka, inače stanovnika Krfa. Vasinog naslednika sam upoznao na ostrvu kupujući neke sitnice par dana pred povratak. Znate kako to ide: magneti, maslinovo ulje, sapuni… Par razmenjenih reči je bilo dovoljno da Vasin praunuk i ja završimo na kafi, da bi se na kraju priča otegla do duboko u noć u maloj taverni uz uzo i masline…
Kada mi je posle dosta godina jedan bloger postavio pitanje o vezi između Grčke i Srbije, prepričao sam mu priču koju sam te večeri čuo od Vasinog unuka. Posle je sve išlo nekim uobičajnim tokom – dogovorili smo se da napišem priču. U mojoj glavi su se sudbine mog pradede Save i Vasilija koji je prošao golgotu progona srpske vojske na Krf izmešale u jednu. Sava je poginuo ujednom od ratova naslednika Prvog Svetskog Rata: Balkanskom ratu, braneći svoj prag. Vasa se posle oporavka na Krfu vratio se da se bori za oslobođenje Srbije, ali nije mogao da zaboravi jednu grkinju… tako da se nakon rata vratio na ostrvo gde je nastavio da živi do kraja života.
Priča je napisana, objavljena i naravno kako to biva u Holivudu – sajt je u međuvremenu prestao da postoji… Ali priča je još uvek tu:
Beautiful Corfu and why I am so emotional whenever I talk about Corfu (Intro of Story about one summer on that beautiful island)
It’s a long story about why Serbian people like the Greek island Corfu. And a quite sad story. But also the story of everlasting love and deep respect between Greek and Serbian people. To understand this bond and connection between the two nations, you should hear one story.
Corfu (Kerkyra) is the second-largest island in the Ionian sea. It’s located almost at the Greek – Albanian border, relatively near to the mainland. Just a few miles of water divides Corfu from Albania and Greece.
There was the year 1915. and the Great War was on the rise. Now we call it ‘World War I’, but back at that time, it was simply Great War. Like any war, it started… Well, I’m not a historian and as you will see, I cannot have an objective opinion about that war. However, there was a war. Serbia was fighting on three large fronts and being a small country, eventually, every man was a soldier. It was an army of young boys, farmers and grandparents. It was army consisted of the whole male population of Serbia. And they were losing. They were losing hard!
At some point, the only choice was to retreat or surrender. Complete Serbian army retreated from Serbia over the Bosnian, Montenegrin and Albanian mountains. They went to the only friendly country in the neighborhood – Greece. My grand grandfather was among them. His name was Sava. Poetically and maybe as a sign of his destiny, his name means Savior. He left his wife and three young kids at the home and went to the war. His youngest son, my grand grandfather, was just two months old when the war started and his father exchanged the green fields for the front. He was just a young man, farm boy, dreaming of spending evenings with his family, planning harvest and gathering stock for the winter.
We do not know how brave a soldier he was. I like to think that he was the bravest man on earth. He was protecting his family, his homeland. At least I would be brave as a lion to protect my kids. But, he was not a warrior. He was an ordinary farm guy, knowing much more about horses and cows than about the guns. And in one of many battles, he was wounded. He was wounded deadly…
After many months, badly wounded, my grandfather Sava managed to cross the Albanian mountains. It was winter. Those mountains are higher than 2000 meters. They are known for heavy snows, deadly frost, blistering wind. Many soldiers died on that journey. But many of them managed to reach the shores of the Ionian sea. Some of them were transported to island Corfu. One of 150.000 Serbian soldiers transported to this beautiful island was my grandfather Sava. Wounded, frozen to death and starving…
To understand how great was that act of the Greek people, you must understand that the population of Corfu at that time was less than 50.000. They accepted three times more Serbian soldiers than their own population.
There are the roots of everlasting love between Serbian and Greek people. I’ll repeat words about those times, words which Greek friends told me, words which they hear from their parents:
“There was so many of them. It looked like there are 10 times more Serbian soldiers than us. They were young, starved to death and most of them were wounded. We were afraid at first – they’ll eat all our food. They are soldiers, and war changes people. They may steal, kill, rape… who knows…
But after a few days, we sow how honest and decent they are. It was a time to harvest olives trees. There were thousands and thousands of olive trees around those soldiers, each one full of the best Greek olives you can imagine. And those soldiers were starved to death. But, no one picked a single one. Not a single soldier, not a single olive. They were polite, humble and every one of them knew how to say ‘Thank you’ in Greek as soon as they stepped on the island.”
But many of them died there on the Corfu. So many of them that they could not bury them all. There was simply not enough place on the rocky island. So, Serbian and Greek people decided that the sea will be their grave. As hard as it looks now, it was the only solution. On small island Vido, next to the capital of Corfu – Kerkyra, was a hospital for severely wounded soldiers. When some of them died, they buried him in the waters of the small bay next to the island. They named that bay – The Blue Tomb.
My grandfather, Sava died on the Corfu one day. We do not know the exact date of his death. We just know that he’s stayed there on Corfu. He did not survive to see his homeland again. He did not survive to see his family. He was buried there in Blue Tomb.
It’s strange – I didn’t know him, his kids didn’t know him. There is no single memory of him that exists, except words that we pass on from one generation to the next. But we all cry when we talk about him.
And that’s the shortest possible story about Corfu and what it means to me and my family. I travel there whenever I can. I have friends on that island. When I am there, I feel like it’s another home for me. And when I’m there I cross the waters of Blue Tomb in memory of my grandfather and lay flowers on his blue grave.