Zarko Hrgic, a former steelworker from Bosnia, has been living in a small riverside cave near the town of Zenica for nearly a decade. He survives on food picked out of dumpsters and leftovers donated by kind souls as he waits to turn 65 and collect his due pension so he can hopefully turn his life around.
In his youth, Zarko worked as a steelworker in Zenica, but decided to try his luck in Germany after his marriage broke down 30 years ago. He worked odd jobs for many years, but 10 years ago he was deported back to Bosnia for staying and working in Germany illegally. Unfortunately, Zarko’s apartment had been destroyed during the Bosnian War (1992 – 1995) so he had no home to come back to. With no savings to buy a new place, and no one to turn to for help, Hrgic eventually ended up in a small mountainside cave on the bank of Babina River that had once been used by miners to store explosives. It was meant to be a temporary arrangement, but he has been living there for 10 years.