Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

Provoker in Ambrus? For sure, but that’s not me.

with 35 comments

Yesterday there was an article in magazine Demokracija (18.1.2007), where again Dr. Peter Starič is making his allusions concerning my journalistic credibility. This time he is writing about a particular event when villagers where marching toward Roma settlement and a small group from direction of Kuželjevec joined them. d164_7987_borut_peterlin.jpg On_that_spot_I’ve_shot_the_image_of this man holding a log and one time he yelled Kill, kill Gypsy, greeting approaching mob.d164_7989_borut_peterlin.jpgd164_7989_cropp.jpgd164_7992_borut_peterlin.jpg I’m quoting dr. Starič: “…And_there_is_another_photograph that shows a man in the back. On it we see that the head of the group approaching is at least 100 meters away from him. Mr. Muhič viewed the images and let us know that in the village of Ambrus nobody knows this man. That’s why we may say that this is in fact provoker ordered by somebody. As by coincidence Mr. Peterlin found himself beside him and took the picture. What an extraordinary coincidence!…”

When I read this I started to laugh immensely and although this are really serious accusation it is very easy for me to prove that dr. Starič is so wrong and that this time he will need to apologize not only to me and Mladina, but also to editor of Demokracija, for embarrassing his magazine.

On Saturday 28th of October 2006 I took this picture sequence that prove that although the man joined the mob later he was actually one of them and of course it was no coincidence that I found myself beside him, because he was there from the beginning until the end.

Concerning_this_man’s_identity it also shouldn’t be a problem to identify because I took some pictures when this man is interacting with people from Ambrus, so Milan Muhič is in fact lying when he’s claiming that nobody in Ambrus knows the man with the log. Following pictures are taken on 1st of December 2006 on the protest against Elka Strojan’s return to her property in Roma settlement near Ambrus. d182_6780_cropp.jpg

After_Milan_Muhič_had_a_brief conversation with the man in the group of local Ambrus villagers, the man left from the protest and shouted back to his friends that he is forbidden to stay here. At the time I thought that police prohibited him to come near Roma settlement, because on the first protest he was cutting down trees with chainsaw and also picture in Mladina was incriminating for him. That can be easily checked, but I didn’t find it important.
So dr. Starič if you want to know the identity of our man with the log, please ask Milan Muhič to tell you the truth or ask this man who was hugging him. d165_8451_borut_peterlin_2.jpgd182_6811_mm.jpg

On the end of the day I must say that partially I agree with you dr. Starič. Surely in Ambrus there are some very powerful provokers but that surely is not me or our man with the log. I’ll left the conclusion who that might be, to everybody’s judgment.

Concerning the apologies. I thank you for recognizing my pictures as credible and publicly admitting so. It’s important for me as much as for any photojournalist that digital photography enjoys the trust of credible media. Truth is that now days digital manipulation has never been easier (it’s also very easy to discover it) and photojournalists duty is to keep our standards high and defend our credibility against superficial prejudice against new technology.

PS: Note to photographers. The other day we were discussing how many pictures should go into archive and how many should it be deleted. If I would had a policy to erase all unsharp pictures I would definitely erase this shaken images of Milan Muhič talking to our man with the log. But now, two months after the event this images are probably the most important images I took that day!


Written by Borut Peterlin

19 January, 2007 at 23:24

35 Responses

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  1. Love your blog …

    Especially this part: “Starič is so wrong and that his time he will need to apologize not only to me and Mladina, but also to editor of Demokracija, for embarrassing his magazine.”

    I actually though this magazine is nothing else but one huge Embarrassment. 🙂


    21 January, 2007 at 15:32

  2. he, he… although dr. Starič and Demokracija is actually promoting my work (I’ll even get a fee from Demokracija) I find this a waste of my time. I hope they will realize that they choose a wrong guy to discredit.

    As I said before it’s easier to terrorize illiterate Romas then educated journalists.



    21 January, 2007 at 16:04

  3. This comment was added to the post Bringing shame upon Slovenia but I’m moving it to this post.B5

    Dear Mr. Peterlin,

    Your additional pictures to my Article of 18th January in Demokracija might help identify the boy with the beam in his rising hands, who had joined the crowd of Ambrus. Thank you for publishing them. However, these pictures neither confirm nor deny that the boy is a provocator. So this question is still open until, Mr. Muhič says more about.

    Since I put a question mark after the title of my Article “Provokator v Ambrusu?”, this does not mean that I am accusing you of anything. Nothing similar appeared also in the text. So I do not think I must apologize for anything I have written.

    Since I have this Gipsy matter already full head, I will stop discussing the matter any further. All the same I apologize to some other correspondents, whom I did not answer. The turn is on Mr. Milan Muhič, who has promissed to take over.


    Dr. Peter Starič


    23 January, 2007 at 08:30

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