Category Archive: matt lutton


Matt Lutton’s 2010 Year in Pictures

I’m even later posting my year-end review than last year. I’ll blame my delay on the fact that the last two months have been very busy and productive. I think I’ve actually made some of my best and most important pictures lately. This week also marks my second anniversary of living in Belgrade and things are making a lot more sense. My work, both assignments and my personal projects, are coming along. Hopefully by the end of the year I will have a solid draft of my project “Only Unity”, which I hope to turn in to a book. It is about the Serbian relationship with history and the legacy of the idea of “Unity” in the Balkans. I’m also encouraging people to follow my tumblr page for the project.

Like Scott these pictures aren’t necessarily the best or the complete picture of the year, but they’re the ones I’ll remember it by.

Živeli to you all, especially my many friends around the Balkans who have helped me along the way, and thanks for following us on dvafoto. We look forward to sharing more through the coming year. Happy belated start to 2011.

Matt Lutton in Perpignan and US

I’ve been traveling and working a lot lately around Serbia in the last month, hence my lack of interesting posts, and I am taking off in a few hours for the Visa pour L’Image photojournalism festival in Perpignan, France. I’ll then be back in the United States (Seattle and New York City) from September 6 through October 24, before returning to Belgrade. If you’re in Perpignan and want to meet up, be sure to send me an email or track me down. Same if you’re in the States.


I also wanted to share a couple of places where my work has been published recently:
The New York Times Lens Blog published a feature about my project in Bosnia “This Time Tomorrow” to coincide with the 15th Anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre in July. Please have a look at the nice piece that James Estrin put together.

The Sunday Times Magazine in London also published three pages of my project “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”, about the destruction of a Roma community in Belgrade. The article and web gallery are behind their paywall but you can see clips on my website.

I look forward to getting back to regular posting and sharing some of what I’ve been up to soon. Happy end of summer everyone!

Matt Lutton’s June Update

Pause in our normal programming for a bit of an update on what I have been up to here in the Balkans. Lots has been going on and it seems like it will be continuing through the summer. And Scott and I have plenty of interesting things planned for dvafoto so keep tuned.


My long-term project about the relocation of Belgrade Roma “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” is currently featured in Lens Culture magazine. This project was also shortlisted by Anthropographia and was included in the exhibition at the New York Photography Festival and will continue to tour worldwide (a cool picture of the exhibition, snapped by a NY friend, is in the gallery above).

I’ve also published “Chapter Two” of this project on my Photoshelter Archive and included some images in the gallery above, so you can catch up on the project since my last post about the project on dva. I am continuing to photograph this story, following the families of the Gazela camp as they resettle around Serbia following the destruction of their community.

Lastly, thanks to friend Pete Brook at Prison Photography for writing about my work on this project in a post titled The Roma People: Matt Lutton building upon a legacy of wandering photographers.

I also have published on my archive a new gallery of work from Bosnia in an ongoing project called “This Time Tomorrow”. I will be following events in Bosnia closely as political and economic stagnation continues to slowly suffocate the country. Some tectonic shift will and must come to solve one of the world’s most entrenched political crises. Maybe tomorrow, but probably not.

I am currently focused on completing my book about Serbia in the aftermath of the Milosevic decade, titled “Only Unity”. My project was recently announced as one of seven nominees for the POYi Emerging Vision Incentive, a $10,000 grant for an emerging photographer. See some of the work and my (full) proposal at the POYi website. Congrats to the winner of the grant, James Chance and the other nominees.

I am also announcing for the first time publicly the existence of an tumblr sketchbook for this project: onlyunity.tumblr.com. Have a look if you want to follow me feel my way through this work. The latest news is that I’ve finished the first book dummy, which will serve as my university thesis, enabling me to finally graduate this year.

It has been a busy couple of months with a few interesting assignments, taking me from Budapest on a corporate job to a British international school in Belgrade for a UK newspaper. There is much to come this summer, including a trip to a Serbian winery connected to the royal family and projects to be featured in well known online publications. And of course focus on Dvafoto. I look forward to sharing this all soon, and I hope you are enjoying your summer (or winter, if you happen to be south of the equator).

This Time Tomorrow .. Bosnia

My timing is great, I finally find a computer to use while my laptop is out of commission and I end up heading on the road immediately. Sorry again for my absence here over the last while, it has been rough going with internet and computer access since I’ve been back in Serbia. Big thanks to M Scott for keeping excellent thoughts and links going. I promise to work extra hard when I’m back in town with a working computer.

March 2009, a view of Sarajevo


I am on my way to Sarajevo and other locales in Bosnia this weekend to continue my work on a project I began last year, called This Time Tomorrow, looking at the present stagnation and possible futures for Bosnia and Herzegovina. I’ll share the next installment when I am back in Belgrade.

But I’m not leaving you with nothing, as I will unveil the first installment of a long-awaited new section of dvafoto called the Book Club very soon and an interview with photographer Molly Landreth to follow. Stay tuned.

Matt Lutton’s Year in Pictures

2009 was my first real year of living and working in Serbia and it was wrought with more questions than answers. I’m still trying to figure out what last year was and what the next will bring, in terms of life and my photos. But I think these pictures may show some of what this was about for me, my relationship to friends and strangers, places and stories. These are not just my “best” pictures but include many more personal. A visual taste of my year. And I’m ecstatic to be back for another take.

Of course, I am a month past due with this in part to recovering from the holidays stateside and setting up everything here for 2010. I’ll have much more to share in the near future on what’s new these days, including projects, collaborations and websites. As always you can see my work at www.mattlutton.com and dig through my archive (and buy pictures!) at archive.mattlutton.com.

Thanks for keeping up with my work and supporting us here at Dvafoto. Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Hope you met the New Year well and that the hangovers aren’t too bad. Here’s my view from the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, where I’m hanging in a cabin with many of my best friends with great food and even better beer. And lots of snow.
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I’ll be in Seattle for another two weeks and before heading back to Belgrade on the 14th of January. Safe travels everyone, I can’t wait to see more work and stories from all of you and continue developing our work here at Dvafoto. We’ve got some great changes and updates coming soon, we can’t wait to show you.

Matt Lutton, New York City

Incredibly last minute announcement but I will be in New York City next week, December 21st through 23rd, for a quick visit with publications, editors and friends and to continue my project I See A Darkness. I will have new work and portfolios to share, including an under-wraps book project that will begin immediately upon my return to Serbia in January. (Did I even mention that I’m back in Seattle for the holidays? It’s been busy.)

From I See A Darkness, 2007

From I See A Darkness, 2007


If you are in the City and feel like meeting up to see work, see an exhibition (I’ve got Ballen, Frank, and Mosse on my schedule right now) or grab a beer, be in touch! It’ll be a crazy quick visit but it might be my only one this year.
From I See A Darkness, 2005

From I See A Darkness, 2005

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

I’ve been trying for the last two weeks to put together some sort of introduction to my ongoing project about the destruction of a large Roma camp here in Belgrade, and words have really failed me. I can’t even come up with an original title (this one is hopefully temporary). I have a lot to say about the community I’ve been photographing for four months and how the destruction of their camps was handled, and hopefully I’ll have something coherent to share soon. But I’ve been teasing and working the project too long not to share some of the images here, especially as this first chapter has ended. So you’ll have to wait for some more of the back story and future plans for the project, though I can point you to this news article for some sad details about the exodus, which I am continuing to photograph. Click on any of the images to go to my website which has a small edit of the project.

A boy climbs on to the roof of his family's home in the Stara Gazela camp. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009

A boy climbs on to the roof of his family's home in the Stara Gazela camp. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009


The day before relocation a suspicious fire broke out in an abandoned home in the Nova Gazela settlement. A man who lives nearby runs to save her belongings in fear of the fire spreading. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009

The day before relocation a suspicious fire broke out in an abandoned home in the Nova Gazela settlement. A man who lives nearby runs to save her belongings in fear of the fire spreading. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009


Smoke from a trash fire looms over the Nova Gazela settlement. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009

Smoke from a trash fire looms over the Nova Gazela settlement. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009


Dusk in the Nova Gazela camp. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009

Dusk in the Nova Gazela camp. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009


The first workers, many of them Roma themselves, arrive at the Nova Gazela settlement at 7am on August 31st to help with the relocation and destruction of the camps. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009

The first workers, many of them Roma themselves, arrive at the Nova Gazela settlement at 7am on August 31st to help with the relocation and destruction of the camps. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009


Bulldozers flatten homes in the Nova Gazela settlement while families, social workers and police watch from under the Gazela bridge. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009

Bulldozers flatten homes in the Nova Gazela settlement while families, social workers and police watch from under the Gazela bridge. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009


Children play near a garbage burn pile in the Stara Gazela camp at dusk. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009

Children play near a garbage burn pile in the Stara Gazela camp at dusk. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009


Boys play on top of a garbage pile behind their home in Nova Gazela, the night before the sweep of the Gazela camps. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009

Boys play on top of a garbage pile behind their home in Nova Gazela, the night before the sweep of the Gazela camps. (c) Matt Lutton, 2009

Balkans Update: Kosovo to Bosnia

So, I was not in Perpignan last week like I said and planned to be. A story that I have been working on since April about the displacement of significant and entrenched Roma settlements here in Belgrade hit its climax last Monday and I decided to stay here to photograph. I look forward to sharing part of this important story soon.
But first I wanted to share some new images that I mentioned a few weeks ago from my Kosovo New Born project, which I began in 2007.

Inside the Stan Trg mine, part of the Trepca complex in Mitrovica, Kosovo. Once employing up to 300,000 people, the operation is on a skeleton crew after the war struggling to remain viable.

Inside the Stan Trg mine, part of the Trepca complex in Mitrovica, Kosovo. Once employing up to 300,000 people, the operation is on a skeleton crew after the war struggling to remain viable.


I returned to the youngest country in the world again in early August to get further into the periphery of issues and locations that are at the heart of Kosovo’s political and economic stability and viability. While it was a difficult trip, with some closed doors and unproductive scheduling, I am pleased that many pictures are contributing new visions and perspectives on the broader sentiments I am hoping to capture with this project.

The next step for me is to (frighteningly enough) prepare a book dummy for this admittedly unfinished body of work. I started my degree at the University of Washington six years ago and I’ve decided that it is high time to finally graduate. So I endeavor to finish my last requirement: a thesis. As a multidisciplinary exercise for my degree in the Comparative History of Ideas program I am attempting to create a historical, documentary and scholarly approach to Kosovo in the form of a more permanent contemporary photographic document. Hence my interest in Peter van Agtmael’s new book 2nd Tour, Hope I don’t Die, which I think works on much the same level. As this project comes together I’ll have more to share, though I’m sure it will take more time than I’ve budgeted in my head.

Along the banks of the Ibar River in the divided city of Mitrovica, Kosovo.

Along the banks of the Ibar River in the divided city of Mitrovica, Kosovo.


Also in Balkan news, I’ve seen (and have been sent) a number of increasingly alarmist articles about the dire state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In my opinion, and that of many smart colleagues here, while it is not a happy or stable place Bosnia isn’t about to explode either. As a western writer friend here opined, this is as much a cry for relevance by Balkan commentators in this short-attention span world as anything else (and as someone with interest in keeping eyes on the important stories here, I’m not exactly against this). So that said, the continuing slow decline of Bosnia’s political foundations is worth paying attention to. I’m continuing to photograph some of these ideas with my project This Time Tomorrow: Post-War Bosnia at the Crossroads and will try to provide updates from my perspective here in Belgrade.
A boy in the Roma Mahala neighborhood of Albanian-controlled south Mitrovica. The area is a development and resettling project for Roma who were displaced by fighting and ethnic tension in the 1999 war in Kosovo.

A boy in the Roma Mahala neighborhood of Albanian-controlled south Mitrovica. The area is a development and resettling project for Roma who were displaced by fighting and ethnic tension in the 1999 war in Kosovo.

Back on Track

I’m glad to see M. Scott’s new posts, not least of which it keeps you all busy with content while I get myself back in gear to post more. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been on the road over the last few weeks photographing a number of things: in Bosnia the Srebrenica Anniversary and the famous bridge divers in Mostar and more recently new work on my project Kosovo New Born. I will have a longer post in the next week or so talking about this Kosovo work, with updates from this trip and my plans to bring it together in book form and as a feature at a popular web magazine.
The next few weeks, before a dvafoto trip to Perpignan for Visa pour l’Image (more from M Scott and I on this soon!), will be devoted to editing and producing a book dummy and continuing with the Roma Relocation project here in Belgrade.

2tourhopeidontdie_coverSpeaking of books, I just came across 2nd Tour, Hope I Don’t Die by Peter van Agtmael, just published by Photolucida through their Critical Mass portfolio review. I’ve been ambivalent about some of van Agtmael’s work in the past but this package really seems to codify an interesting perspective and photographs about our modern American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I would be very interested to see this in person, do let me know if you get a copy. I’m curious how this sort of personal narrative about a larger “news” story works in book form, not least of which because I’m approaching this with my work, but also for its ability to open a possibly new medium for distributing long term documentary that is closer to what typically runs in the mainstream press than book publishing.