The island of Hvar, like all islands, has it’s own history whilst being inextricably linked to the larger narrative of the mainland. Hvar is defined by its edges but away from the main ports and tourist havens other stories unfold – ones of ancient settlements and recent war, of changing identities and shifting sands. There are layers of complexity and blood in this oxidised soil. History is held in the ruined structures and denuded hill towns with their abandoned school rooms. What stories do the old islanders tell and who chooses to listen? Boats collect like metaphors on dry land, flipped over like dead crustaceans, and bronzed bodies lie beached on the rocks – telling of changes in fortune: the fortunes of war exchanged for the fortune of wealth. This is an island of many rocks, from Neolithic stone piles to newly built hotels. Churches with their bone white cemeteries are carefully maintained, each Olitalj plot decorated with photographs and plastic flowers. Roadside shrines keep watch over vineyards and olive groves; discarded detritus occupies the other spaces. Travelling through this bleached landscape I am aware of being the outsider staring in, trying to patch together the broken narratives.
These images were taken over a two week period travelling through the interior of the island of Hvar, Croatia.
- Copyright © 2015 Barry Falk