TOPSHIT PHOTOGRAPHY blog

Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

Posts Tagged ‘yugoslavia

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!

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Red Star T-shirt – Mladinina mikica z rdečo zvezdo

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Last week I had to make an advertisement for Mladina’s new T-shirt with a red star. Lately in the peak of recession when Slovenia is mentioned to be the sixth EU country that will need to ask for financial help, Prime Minister Janša started his campaign to trivialize National Liberation Front (Red star) and his right wing colleagues are openly glorifying Hitler’s collaborators Domobranci. Mladina decided to start selling the T-shirts with red star and trusted me to make a good picture for their campaign. My first idea was to go to Dolenjski muzej and on the exhibition dedicated to partisan resistance find some appropriate angle around guns. But guns were all in show windows and that was not possible. I decided I’ll make a very simple image and use the wall with names of over 3000 fallen partisans, activists and victims of o fascistic violence. I’m really happy that this photograph is not only opposing stupid remarks that Slovene Home Guard (Domobranci) soldiers who pledged their service to Hitler and were capturing allied pilots and handing them to SS, were fighting for democracy, but also reminding what red star really represents in history. If you want to buy one HERE is the link.

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Prejšen teden sem naredil reklamno fotografijo za Mladinino novo mikico z rdečo zvezdo. KOt veste, na višku recesije, ko je Slovenija omenjana kot potencaialno šesta država, ki bo prisiljena prostiti EU za finančno pomoč, je Premier Janša začel svojo kampanijo za razvrednotenje pomena narodno osvobodilnega boja in simbola rdeče zvezde. Kot veste, so janševci začeli na glas propagirati hitlerjance in Mladina se je odločila, da naredi mikico z rdečo zvezdo. Meni so zaupali, da naredim fotografijo, ki bo uporabljena za oglase. Moja prva ideja je bila, da bi šel v Dolenjski muzej in na razstavi NOB našel nek zorni kot kjer bi lahko posnel mikico in orožje. Na mojo žalost je bilo vse atraktivno orožje v izložbi, ki je nisem mogel odpreti, tako sem se odločil, da naredim popolnoma enostavno fotko, ob spominski plošči, kjer so imena padlih partizanov, aktivistov in drugih žrtev okupatorskega nasilja. Na ta način fotografija nasprotuje fiktivni ideji, da so se hitlerjanci borili za demokracijo, ampak tudi izpostavlja kaj je rdeča zvezda resnično pomenila ljudem!

Če jo hočete naročiti, je tu POVEZAVA do nje.

Written by Borut Peterlin

16 July, 2012 at 15:56

Poorest Roma in Slovenia (also this is EU)

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Last week I’ve visited two Roma families that are living on their own land in Semič, Slovenia. They are isolated from Roma and Slovenian community. I saw a lot of Roma communities but they were surely the poorest. They are even poorer then Roma in Dobruška vas.

My daughters in Roma settlementWhen I showed this pictures to my three years old daughter she said, they are poor because they are stealing, isn’t? I couldn’t believe my ears. I explained that theft is not limited to nationality. I also wanted to add that many members of Slovenian elite are accused and prosecuted because they were stealing (cheating, bribing, blackmailing,…) and they are far from being poor, but I didn’t want to leave a feeling that crime pays off, although it’s obvious that white collar crime does pay off in Slovenia.

I explained my dear daughter that these Roma are poor because they are not educated and they are not educated because they don’t speak Slovenian and they don’t want to go to school because they are dirty since they don’t have a running (or drinking) water, nor electricity. I ask her how would she felt of she would not wear her beautiful skirt, but she would wear that old, dirty, smelly oversize coat? I show her all the details of their home, where they are cooking, eating, sleeping. Their room is all in smoke, because of horrible heating. I show her that they don’t even have doors! Next day I took both daughters to Roma settlement in Brezje. I had many pictures to give away, so I asked my daughters to join me. Little Brina was very shocked. She said. Isn’t true daddy, that the boy in the back is not being cold, because he’s used to walk barefoot in cold although it’s winter? I explain her that this is like in story Levi Devžej where children were really poor and they were walking barefooted through snow. Also Lučka was very touched by the experience.

Silently I was thinking that these Roma are as poor as my ancestors about two or three hundred years ago. And I thought how will our future generation looked at us, on our generation. Perhaps they will look this pictures and even read this and wondered how could we be so primitive that we ruined this planet, not from lack of knowledge, but because of greed. Perhaps my great, great, great, great grand children will live in this kind of room…

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Prejšnji teden smo za Mladino obiskali dve romski družini, ki živita na svoji zemlji, na obrobju Semiča. So izolirani tako s strani romske, kot tudi romske skupnosti in videl sem že ogromno romskih družin, a tako revnih še ne. So celo bolj revni kot Romi iz Dobruške vasi.

Ko sem kazal fotke svoji triletni hčeri, ki se je zopet zmrdovala glede kosila, kako revni otroci živijo, je rekla; Revni so zato, ker kradejo, kaj ne? Nisem mogel verjeti svojim ušesom. Objasnil sem ji, da se lopovi ne omejujejo na barvo kože ali nacionalnost. Hotel sem dodati, da so mnogi pripadniki slovenske elite kazensko preganjani zaradi lopovstva (korupcija, podkupovanje, izsiljevanje,…) in še daleč od tega, da bi bili revni, a nisem hotel pustiti vtisa, da se kriminal izplača, čeprav je vsakemu očitno, da se v Sloveniji kriminal belih ovratnikov zelo dobro izplača.

My daughters in Roma settlementObjasnil sem svoji dragi hčerki, da so ti Romi tako revni, ker niso izobraženi, in niso izobraženi, ker ne govorijo slovensko in nočejo v šolo, ker so tako umazani, saj njihovi domovi nimajo ne tekoče (ali pitne) vode, niti elektrike. Vprašal sem jo kako bi se počutila, če ne bi šla v šolo v svojem lepem plaščku, ampak v tej stari, umazani, preveliki bundi? Pokazal sem ji detajle kje živijo, kuhajo, jejo, spijo. Pokazal sem ji, da živijo v zakajeni sobici, ker jim dimnik pušča. So tako revni, da nimajo niti vrat. Naslednji dan sem vzel obe hčerki v romsko naselje Brezje, da razdamo Romom moje fotografije, ki sem jih davno posnel. Mala Brina je bila kar šokirana in spraševala; Kaj ne, da tistega fantka ne zebe, ker je že navajen, da hodi bos, kljub temu, da je zima? Pojasnil sem ji, da so tako revni, kot so bili sosedje v pripovedi Levi Devžej, ki so bosi hodili skozi sneg. Tudi Lučko se je zelo dotaknila izkušnja.

Brez besed sem pomislil, da so ti Romi tako revni, kot so bili moji predniki pred kakimi dvesto, tristo leti. Pomislil sem kako bodo moji potomci čez kakih sto, dvesto let gledali name in na našo civilizacijo. Morda bodo gledali moje slike, ali to brali in se spraševali kako smo lahko bili tako primitivni, da smo uničili ta planet ne iz neznanja, ampak iz pohlepa! Morda bodo moji potomci živeli v takšni sobici.

Portrait of artist Stane Špegl

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Stane Špegel is a very unusual artist. He is a founder of Šank Rock and at the time they played much more hard rock, then now, a member of many punk bands, but currently he is in electronic music. His artistic name for electronic music is HouseMouse. He is doing art in all sorts of media. From music, video, to multimedia and sculpturing. I photographed him in his home town Velenje beside a Tito‘s monument. Former name of Velenje was Tito’s Velenje.

Written by Borut Peterlin

8 April, 2008 at 21:21