Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

Posts Tagged ‘dayton border

Today is the 20th anniversary of the end of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and I’m opening an exhibition “Tour de Dayton”

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Today, 14th of December 2015, is the 20th anniversary of the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The war ended in 1995 with a peace accord signed by Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian political leaders in Dayton, Ohio, USA. By this peace accord Bosnia and Herzegovina was devided into two ethnical entities, Republic Srbska and Federation of BiH. Locally this border is also named as Dayton border.

I decided to do a project about this border that never existed before, by documenting the border on a bicycle. I named the project Tour de Dayton. I cycled on this ethnical border and photographed Bosnian landscape and how it became a medium in the hands of new nationalistic politics and explore how this new nationalistic symbolism coexist with symbols of former Socialistic Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

I decided to cycle on the border with my camera and heavy duty panoramic head Manfrotto 303 plus (video-log about the gear). Why cycling? Bicycle is the best transportation system for a travel photographer, no doubt about that, plus I wanted to physically endure the path, the road, the border. I must admit immediately, that I haven’t succeed it, I didn’t cycled trough all the border, but only about 500 km on two separate occasions.

The reason why I failed is of boring financial nature. Not that I couldn’t finance the project, it is cheap to cycle, but I received a commission I couldn’t say no and I had to return back home and do the job. You know, the curse of being an artist, a professional photographer and responsible father at the same time plus on top of everything being born with workaholic disability of only two hands!?!?

Therefore I never exhibited my project, but today is the 20th anniversary, so I’m making sort of guerrilla exhibition in one of the best galleries in Slovenia, Photon Gallery. My exhibition will be on the walls for only today and tomorrow, since they are opening a new show on Friday and I jumped for a day or two.

Is it worth it, an exhibition for a day? Absolutely! I consider myself a documentary photography and I have this ridicules drive that I need to document the environment, to express my feelings about it and by doing it to experience the life fully. At the bottom is a video-log on the project, from 2011.

So I invite you to the opening of my exhibition today, on Monday, 20th of December, 2015, at 19:00 in Gallery Photon, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Relevant links:

Wikipedia Dayton Agreement

Gallery on my website

Photon Gallery

Blog post from 30. June 2011.

Blog post from 22.5.2007

Back from Tour de Dayton

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

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