TOPSHIT PHOTOGRAPHY blog

Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

Posts Tagged ‘bosnia

Scouting location in Croatia and Bosnia on a theme Yugo Nostalgia

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We’ve made scouting location around Petrova gora on the border of Croatia and Bosnia. In the future we might make adventure tours and photo-workshops with a theme “Yugo nostalgia”, visiting monuments and other fascinating locations from the time of Yugoslavia. If you’re interested, send me an email and check my site TOPSHIT PHOTOGRAPHY.

The inspiration for the trip was a work by Jan Kempenaers and his project Spomenik 2006-2009 (Monument).  If I quote his description:

These structures were commissioned by former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito in the 1960s and 70s to commemorate sites where WWII battles took place (like Tjentište, Kozara and Kadinjača), or where concentration camps stood (like Jasenovac and Niš). They were designed by different sculptors (Dušan Džamonja, Vojin Bakić, Miodrag Živković, Jordan and Iskra Grabul, to name a few) and architects (Bogdan Bogdanović, Gradimir Medaković…), conveying powerful visual impact to show the confidence and strength of the Socialist Republic. In the 1980s, these monuments attracted millions of visitors per year, especially young pioneers for their “patriotic education.” After the Republic dissolved in early 1990s, they were completely abandoned, and their symbolic meanings were forever lost.

In the video I’ve included a well known speech of Tito: ” We’ve shed a sea of blood to create this Brotherhood and Unity…” which explains the importance of those monuments, but even more true and far sighted was the next quote “None of our republics would mean anything if standing alone, only if we stand together we can write our own history!”

How true that turn out to be! Now in Slovenia it does not matter how deep in shit are we, as long other former Yugoslav republics are one tiny step deeper, so we can say that it could be worse and we are happy! I’m not Yugo-nostalgic, but there are many statistic facts that are very Yugo-nostalgic, I must admit. To prove the point, let me repeat the most repeated sentence of my life: “No, I’m not from Slovakia, I’m from Slovenia!!!

If you would like to have a tour around these and other sites, send me an email and we’ll talk. It is certainly only appropriate for individual tours.

PS: In April finally a movie of my friend Žiga Virc will be premiered at Tribeca festival. We all are waiting for this great movie that  will be distributed by HBO Europe, among other TV networks. I’m mentioning this in a line of Yugo-Nostalgia that will become a trend, for sure!

Back from Tour de Dayton

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b5 tour the dayton photo: igor motl b5 tour the dayton photo: igor motl

Zdravo,
I’m back from my cycling tour in Bosnia and Herzegovina on an ethnic border between Federation side and Republic of Srbska, also known as Dayton border. My Tour de Dayton was great, I was making landscape pictures that have some sort of political connotations. I was traveling partly with bicycle, partly by bus. I was sleeping in a tent, at Igor Motl in Prijedor and at Timur in Sarajevo. In this four and a half days I drove 360 km with 17kg of luggage up and down Bosnian’s hills and mountains (marked red). It was very exhausting, but after every good picture I knew I’m on a right track and my motivation was on very high level. I love taking panoramic pictures on a tripod. It’s so different working pace then I’m used to! I wasn’t making almost no snapshots, every picture was on tripod. Well, this few images that I’m publishing here are snapshots, but 1400 others were taken on a tripod. Now with a help of two colleagues we will stitch those images into panoramas and that will take a while. I felt very safe in Bosnia, only I couldn’t accept so many invites to sit for a coffee. I wasn’t scared even on mine fields, but I was very scared in tunnels. I could imagine that hilly Bosnia has many tunnels, but I didn’t expect so, so many. Only from Goražde to Višegrad there are 39 tunnels and only few are lit, most of them are pitch dark. In a tunnel between Prača and Goražde I thought I’ll fade out from smog. It was very small tunnel, for only one car, perhaps a van would fit and it was more then one kilometer long. I was cycling on full power before a car, that was properly illuminating the road in front and could help me if I got in trouble. Soon when I got out I got a headache, but it was a brief one. I love Bosnian water stops. There are so many springs in Bosnia that they make a stop beside a road with a water spring aside. That water is d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.

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B5 tour

Mladić deserves a fair trial, but he will not get it…

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I’ve been in Srebrenica and also in a morgue with several hundred unidentified bodies and also in Crni vrh – Zvornik the largest mass grave from a genocide in BiH. I wish Ratko Mladić a fair trail, because fairness is what he deserves, although it can not be delivered in Haag or any other trial and also not in a/one lifetime, but he will get what he deserves! Above are images from Crni Vrh, Potočari, Sarajevo, Bijeli potok, Srebrenica. The sign on a billboard, written in Cyrillic is taken in Serbian part of BiH and my best translation would be “It is difficult to god, the way we are!”.

Here is a story I’ve done after the arrest of Karadžić.
PS: I remember clearly a Milošević’s speach and shouting of masses “We want weapons…” that day everybody knew that snowball is rolling and it can not be stopped. Strangely enough I can’t find the clip on youtube, only Milošević’s reaction “Ne čujem dobro, ne čujem dobro to šta tražite”

Written by Borut Peterlin

26 May, 2011 at 23:18

Hunger strike of Bosnian and Serbian workers in Slovenia

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This is a short film about Bosnian and Serbian workers that were working for Zoran Perkovič / Prenova construction company and they didn’t received a salary for more then a year. In Slovenia there is a law that a foreign worker (outside of EU) must work for two years for the same employer and only then he can receive a working visa that allow him to change his job (in Slovenia). If employer cancels the working permit for a day, they lose working visa and they need to return home. This modern slavery law was abused (among others also) by Zoran Perkovič, who employed foreign workers and then in a year, he payed them one or two monthly salary per year and after their yearly visa expired they had to leave the country. This scenario happened to 120 workers of Prenova. Last dozes workers claimed their right for a fair payment and they started a hunger strike. They were sleeping in a shed under freezing temperature and snowy weater. After 8 days they came to Ljubljana to Ministry of Labor where they claimed their right for fair treatment and support.

This is a short film with my images shot for Mladina weekly. I used Nikon D3, Nikon D300s and a dictaphone to record the happening. I hope the message will get accross even if you don’t speak Bosnian or Slovenian.

Exhibition of Striptiz creative portraits in Galerija 96 in Prijedor, Bosnia and Hercegovina

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Yesterday I had a really successful opening of the exhibition Striptiz creative portraits in Galerija 96 in Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I’m grateful for initiative and organization of the exhibition to my friend Igor Motl and director of Galerija 96 Tihomir Ilijašević. Gallery is in superb spot in downtown and beautiful. There was also a lot of media coverage and here is the link to GradPrijedor.com. Exhibition is open until 30.10.2008.

Time to focus and turn down jobs

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For last three weeks I was working for Vertigo Bird. They are really great company that are producing top of the line lights for interior design. We were talking that i would be their long term photographer, photographing their light in the nature. I tried hard finding additional time in my schedule to shoot some tests shots, working at night, on Sunday,… More I was working less satisfied was the client. With the last image published above I was really satisfied and I was sure that it’s fitting the brief perfectly, but again the same story and I received a completely new brief involving also people in the pictures. I realized that this is something that’s not for me. Doesn’t matter who’s fault it is for bad communication, I decided to turn down the job.

It’s hard because I take it as a failure, but I’m very successful on different fields of photography, so why not stick to it. From Italian publishing house Garda Cartiere I received really big compliment on my work in Bosnia.

Trimo d.d. 20080609_7035_borut peterlinTwo days ago I was shooting an Annual report for Trimo d.d. under surveillances of Igor Arih. We prepared very well for the shoot with a detailed plan, but the plan was flushed away by a rain. We all got nervous, but I came out with a new location and different way of shooting and it worked very well. CEO Tatjana Fink was very satisfied with pictures and so was people from Arih agency. They told me that it’s noticed that I’m photojournalist by soul, because I’m adaptable.

Last but not least after years of meetings and tons of emails it looks that I made a serious step forward in cooperating with Getty Images. A lot of work before me.

That’s why I decided to turn down lights job and devote my intention where my heart is, that is people, people, people and some portraiture of people.

PS: Corporate picture is composed with a page gap in mind. It’ll be a double spread and a page gap will go where there are no people.

Written by Borut Peterlin

11 June, 2008 at 22:20

Souvenirs from BiH

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I’m back from a week’s assignment in Bosnia, commissioned by Garde Cartiere. It was really hard work, driving every day for about 3-5 hours on the local roads, organizing, photographing, … But as always Bosnia is great. I can’t explain with usual stereotypes, but I love Bosnia. I have great friends there and I always meet more great people. Like I met Igor Motl with who I got in contact in wordpress blogosphere and of course there is a Sarajevo Massive with Timur, Šimek, Emina and other friends from pro.ba + I visit Paul Lowe in his house.

I met so many incredible people. People who are full of love and devoted in helping their fellow persons like Jovan Divjak, Tetka Zilha and many many others. I’ll publish their portraits after I show it to photoeditor in Italy.

But unfortunately I met also some people, that I would prefer to avoid. Like last day my car was broke into and a studio flash with flashfeeder and radio synchro receiver and two transmitters were stolen. I blame it completely on my laziness that I left it in a trunk. It was my last night in Sarajevo and I felt relaxed and my cautiousness drop, so I made a mistake. Neighbor told me that this street is a very popular by thefts. Anyhow I travel a lot and this is first time that i was robbed.

That day I’ll remember also because when I was driving back to SLO, I picked up a senior lady that was hitchhiking and I soon she started to offer herself to me. I realize she was an old prostitute and although it was funny at the start I show her that I don’t appreciate the conversation and just turn up the music and drop her off where she was going.

While driving I contemplated everything what I’ve experienced and visualized my thoughts as a water flowing down my spine. I felt such a pure and strong water current and although few drops of oil pollutes thousand litters of water, I just focused how it’s being flushed out by a power of Niagara falls. Strange thing happened. In my mind appeared a picture of my friends that got involved in the crime and that they are probably doing the same to others. I imagined my friend from Sarajevo that got addicted by heroin and although I know he’s not in Bosnia I imagined that I give him my stuff and he is relived of pain for a few hours.

I was relived from the painful experience forever.

Today I flew a glider plane for two circles and it felt great!

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Written by Borut Peterlin

11 May, 2008 at 23:06

Wu Dang style at Bjelašnica mountajn

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OK. After unauthorized footage of Emina, Timur MAkarević made a proper video of my Tai Ji Quan, form 42. Let me just point out that by style developed at Bjelašnica mountain official martial uniform is a jeans. (I expect some additional information from Ninja revisori + guest appearance of ŽanPistoff)

Ninja majstori Wudang style at bjelašnica mountajn

Otherwise here is a chill out image of Emina, Timur and myself.

timur makarević by Borut Peterlin
Timur Thistimeispersonal Makarević

Written by Borut Peterlin

8 May, 2008 at 23:08

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B5 in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Ciao tutti! I’m in BiH – Republic Srbska in Prijedor, working on a project A Better Time project for an Italian publishing house Garda Cartiere. They hired ten photographers through out the world and I was commisioned to do portraits in BiH. Check their last years pick. http://abetterproject.com/
I’ll blog more about it when I’ll do some more work, that’s in a week time or so.
PS: Backstage pictures were done by Igor Motl. THX!!

Written by Borut Peterlin

5 May, 2008 at 21:55