Images of 2012

The story of 2012 is more like a lesson. An act of doing all I can to make progress. The truth is nothing beats ignorance. Except for straight out provocation or an international incident, but I’m not the one to do it. Instead, I invested my energy in quality. That eventually doesn’t make a difference, but it does to me. This is a look back at 2012, another seemingly pointless year. However, this year has an extra component. Something we all know, but never demand proof for ourselves. We know global media doesn’t care about this country. They probably wouldn’t care if an alien invasion started here instead of the highly intergalactically popular United States. A window gets smashed during a protest in The Middle East and everybody’s reporting on it while two thirds of a flooded country go by unnoticed. It may make no difference for most, but I needed to know for sure, because I realized there’s no place for my photojournalism in Slovenia a long time ago. 2012 was a test.

JANUARY

As always January is a blur. I need some time to get started again, usually to get my hopes high as well. I need a goal. Because when you reach the goals you set for yourself and nothing changes, it is normal to set even higher ones. I’ve known for  a while now that the problem isn’t in not being good enough. It’s in the media market. So I shifted into a higher gear and actively covered news from Slovenia for Demotix Wire and Imago. Exhausted and relatively at a minimum budget, I risked a lot. That higher gear was practically something my car at that moment couldn’t handle well, but I knew it could and I knew it could make a better car so … I went for it.

FEBRUARY

A protester in Kongres Square during the protests against the signing of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in Ljubljana, Slovenia, February 4, 2012

MARCH

Robert Kranjec (SLO) competes in the Sunday's individual competition at the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup finals in Planica, March 18. 2012., Slovenia.

Robert Kranjec (SLO) competes in the Sunday’s individual competition at the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup finals in Planica, March 18. 2012., Slovenia.

APRIL

A woman rides a bike past signs criticising governments budget cuts in kindergartens after a public sector unions' strike march to the parliament building in Ljubljana, Slovenia, April 18, 2012.

A woman rides a bike past signs criticising governments budget cuts in kindergartens after a public sector unions’ strike march to the parliament building in Ljubljana, Slovenia, April 18, 2012.

MAY

Slovenia hosted the UEFA U-17 European Championship. I was comissioned by Imago to cover the matches in Ljubljana.

Joris Voest of Netherlands in the air during the UEFA U-17 European Championship final match between Germany and the Netherlands at the SRC Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 16, 2012.

Joris Voest of Netherlands in the air during the UEFA U-17 European Championship final match between Germany and the Netherlands at the SRC Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 16, 2012.

Marian Sarr of Germany is challanged by Anthony Martial of France during the UEFA U-17 European Championship final tournament group match between Germany and France at the SRC Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 10, 2012.

Marian Sarr of Germany is challanged by Anthony Martial of France during the UEFA U-17 European Championship final tournament group match between Germany and France at the SRC Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 10, 2012.

Marc Stendera of Germany catches the ball during the UEFA U-17 European Championship final tournament group match between Germany and Iceland at the SRC Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 7, 2012.

Marc Stendera of Germany catches the ball during the UEFA U-17 European Championship final tournament group match between Germany and Iceland at the SRC Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 7, 2012.

Hjortur Hermannsson of Iceland stands disappointed as his team lost against Germany at the UEFA U-17 European Championship final tournament at the SRC Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 7, 2012.

Hjortur Hermannsson of Iceland stands disappointed as his team lost against Germany at the UEFA U-17 European Championship final tournament at the SRC Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 7, 2012.

Nathan Ake of Netherlands strikes the ball during the UEFA U-17 European Championship semi-final match between Netherlands and Georgia at the SRC Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 13, 2012.

Nathan Ake of Netherlands strikes the ball during the UEFA U-17 European Championship semi-final match between Netherlands and Georgia at the SRC Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 13, 2012.

Nick Olij, Netherlands' goalkeeper, jumps as Team Netherlands celebrates winning the UEFA U-17 European Championship final match between Germany and the Netherlands at the SRC Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 16, 2012.

Nick Olij, Netherlands’ goalkeeper, jumps as Team Netherlands celebrates winning the UEFA U-17 European Championship final match between Germany and the Netherlands at the SRC Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 16, 2012.

JUNE

The entire fly fishing world visited Slovenia in June to participate in the World Fly Fishing Championship. Again, I covered it in full for Demotix Wire and Imago, as well as magazines from South Africa, England and our own Fisherman magazine.

Henrik Enslin of South Africa catches a fish in river Kokra during the first competition of the World Fly Fishing Championship in Slovenia, Jun 6 2012.

Henrik Enslin of South Africa catches a fish in river Kokra during the first competition of the World Fly Fishing Championship in Slovenia, Jun 6 2012.

Art Ritmeester of The Netherlands competes on the river Sava Bohinjka during the fourth competition of the World Fly Fishing Championship in Slovenia, Jun 8 2012.

Art Ritmeester of The Netherlands competes on the river Sava Bohinjka during the fourth competition of the World Fly Fishing Championship in Slovenia, Jun 8 2012.

Ulli Schneider of Germany competes on the lake at Most na Soci during the third competition at the World Fly Fishing Championship, Slovenia, Jun 7, 2012.

Ulli Schneider of Germany competes on the lake at Most na Soci during the third competition at the World Fly Fishing Championship, Slovenia, Jun 7, 2012.

JULY

I was one of two official photographers of Ana Desetnica street arts festival in Ljubljana again. The photos went global. And I love it, because this festival deserves it. It’s awesome.

KUD Ljud (Slovenia) perform during the Ana Desetnica international street arts festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Jun 30 2012.

KUD Ljud (Slovenia) perform during the Ana Desetnica international street arts festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Jun 30 2012.

Theaker von Ziarno performs during the Ana Desetnica international street arts festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Jun 28 2012.

Theaker von Ziarno performs during the Ana Desetnica international street arts festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Jun 28 2012.

Mr Pejo's Wandering Dolls perform during the Ana Desetnica international street arts festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Jun 28 2012.

Mr Pejo’s Wandering Dolls perform during the Ana Desetnica international street arts festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Jun 28 2012.

Firefingers (Israel) performs during the Ana Desetnica international street arts festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Jun 30 2012.

Firefingers (Israel) performs during the Ana Desetnica international street arts festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Jun 30 2012.

July was also the year when I finally showed the multimedia piece on Lyra, the amazing border collie that was a pioneer in dog frisbee in Slovenia. The multimedia won the hearts of many at the Fotopub’s Thursday Award screening.

AUGUST

I spent my summer visiting my grandma in a nursing home at the seaside. I wasn’t taking many photos or covering news, just a few shots with my iphone… She passed away in mid August.

SEPTEMBER

After visiting the Visa pour l’Image Festival in Perpignan, France, I was doing sporadic work on my stories until I visited Venice with a journalist to do a story on safeguarding the Venetian lagoon for Terre Sauvage Magazine. For more about this story go to “The Lagoon” and “Return to the Lagoon

OCTOBER

Athletes compete in the 17th International Ljubljana Marathon on Oct 28, 2012 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Athletes compete in the 17th International Ljubljana Marathon on Oct 28, 2012 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

NOVEMBER

The story about the Venetian lagoon ended with extreme flooding in the city.

In other news:

President of Slovenia and presidential candidate Dr. Danilo Turk speaks to his supporters after the first round of presidential elections in Slovenia.

President of Slovenia and presidential candidate Dr. Danilo Turk speaks to his supporters after the first round of presidential elections in Slovenia.

Steve Vai performs live in the Cvetlicarna Club in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Steve Vai performs live in the Cvetlicarna Club in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

People protest against austerity measures in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Nov 17, 2012.

People protest against austerity measures in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Nov 17, 2012.

Advent wreaths are on display in the underground tunnels in Kranj, Slovenia.

Advent wreaths are on display in the underground tunnels in Kranj, Slovenia.

Advent wreaths are on display in the underground tunnels in Kranj, Slovenia.

Advent wreaths are on display in the underground tunnels in Kranj, Slovenia.

Disney's Mickey Mouse mascot greets children in Ljubljana, Slovenia,Nov 20, 2012.

Disney’s Mickey Mouse mascot greets children in Ljubljana, Slovenia,Nov 20, 2012.

The U. S. ambassador in Slovenia Joseph A. Mussomeli meets Disney's Mickey Mouse mascot in Ljubljana, Slovenia,Nov 20, 2012.

The U. S. ambassador in Slovenia Joseph A. Mussomeli meets Disney’s Mickey Mouse mascot in Ljubljana, Slovenia,Nov 20, 2012.

Disney's Mickey Mouse mascot takes a final look at Ljubljana from above before leaving Ljubljana, Slovenia, Nov 20, 2012.

Disney’s Mickey Mouse mascot takes a final look at Ljubljana from above before leaving Ljubljana, Slovenia, Nov 20, 2012.

Mina Markovic of Slovenia competes during the IFSC climbing world cup finals in Kranj, Slovenia, on Nov 18, 2012.

Mina Markovic of Slovenia competes during the IFSC climbing world cup finals in Kranj, Slovenia, on Nov 18, 2012.

People protest for justice and peace in Palestine holding signs demanding the end of Israely blockade of Gaza during the pro-Palestinian protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

People protest for justice and peace in Palestine holding signs demanding the end of Israely blockade of Gaza during the pro-Palestinian protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Finally, people had enough. Just like Gorazd Utenkar wrote in a Delo newspaper article: “The fourth year of the crisis proved that Slovenians aren’t ready to die from starvation before they take to the streets, but that they do that just a little before that.” And so they did. Too late, if you ask me, but better late then never. I started covering the entire uprising. For more on this, go to “Covering Recent Protests

Protesters burn a poster of Slovenian prime minister Janez Jansa  during anti-government protests in Kranj, Slovenia.

Protesters burn a poster of Slovenian prime minister Janez Jansa during anti-government protests in Kranj, Slovenia.

People protest during anti-government protests in Kranj, Slovenia.

People protest during anti-government protests in Kranj, Slovenia.

Protesters shout slogans during anti-government protests in Kranj, Slovenia.

Protesters shout slogans during anti-government protests in Kranj, Slovenia.

A protester carries a signpost with several accusations against the government during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

A protester carries a sign with several accusations against the government during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

A protester hands a flower to a policeman in a police blockade in front of the parliament building during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

A protester hands a flower to a policeman in a police blockade in front of the parliament building during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

A man pauses behind the police blockade on his way home from the grocery store during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

A man pauses behind the police blockade on his way home from the grocery store during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

A protester tries to evade a water canon jet during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

A protester tries to evade a water canon jet during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

In November, National Geographic Junior published the story about Barbara, a special 11 year old girl with a severe case of cerebral palsy. The story continues. For more, go to “The Girl Inside“.

DECEMBER

What was more like X factor or some vile reality show ended in triumpf of gullibility. Old story. I covered the presidential elections runoff, and then continued covering protests.

Policemen clash with the protesters during protests against the mayor of Maribor Franc Kangler in Maribor, Slovenia.

Policemen clash with the protesters during protests against the mayor of Maribor Franc Kangler in Maribor, Slovenia.

Fireworks go off in a group of policemen making an arrest during protests against the mayor of Maribor Franc Kangler in Maribor, Slovenia.

Fireworks go off in a group of policemen making an arrest during protests against the mayor of Maribor Franc Kangler in Maribor, Slovenia.

A protester carries a smoke bomb to throw to the police during protests against the mayor of Maribor Franc Kangler in Maribor, Slovenia.

A protester carries a smoke bomb to throw to the police during protests against the mayor of Maribor Franc Kangler in Maribor, Slovenia.

Protesters shout their discontent during protests against the mayor of Kranj, Mohor Bogataj, and the government in Kranj, Slovenia.

Protesters shout their discontent during protests against the mayor of Kranj, Mohor Bogataj, and the government in Kranj, Slovenia.

Protesters carrie a large sign denouncing dictatorship during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Protesters carrie a large sign denouncing dictatorship during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Protesters march through the streets as people watch from their windows during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Protesters march through the streets as people watch from their windows during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Protesters march through the streets seen through a bus stop window during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Protesters march through the streets seen through a bus stop window during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Students from Faculty of arts listen to a lecture in the lobby of the Cankarjev dom cultural center during a protest against cuts in education system in the city center of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Students from Faculty of arts listen to a lecture in the lobby of the Cankarjev dom cultural center during a protest against cuts in education system in the city center of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Students from Faculty of arts listen to a lecture in the National Gallery as a sculpture lies on the floor during a protest against cuts in education system in the city center of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Students from Faculty of arts listen to a lecture in the National Gallery as a sculpture lies on the floor during a protest against cuts in education system in the city center of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

A protester wears an octopus mask referring to the system of local corruption during a protest march against the mayor and the local government in Maribor, Slovenia.

A protester wears an octopus mask referring to the system of local corruption during a protest march against the mayor and the local government in Maribor, Slovenia.

People protest outside the Maribor prisons demanding the release of protesters watching from the windows during a protest march against the mayor and the local government in Maribor, Slovenia.

People protest outside the Maribor prisons demanding the release of protesters watching from the windows during a protest march against the mayor and the local government in Maribor, Slovenia.

The end of the world on December 21 brought around 11,000 people to Ljubljana, but it didn’t even vaporize our government, let alone the entire planet.

A war veteran wearing a veteran's cap and a carnation protests during a countrywide anti-government protest in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

A war veteran wearing a veteran’s cap and a carnation protests during a countrywide anti-government protest in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Protesters carry stickers that read "Give us back our spring" on their coats during a countrywide anti-government protest in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Protesters carry stickers that read “Give us back our spring” on their coats during a countrywide anti-government protest in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

But we did almost have a zombie apocalypse. The ruling party called the protesters on December 21 zombies so the next day they rose.

Protesters carry a zombie cardboard cutout during a protest staged by cultural workers in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Protesters carry a zombie cardboard cutout during a protest staged by cultural workers in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

A protester in zombie makeup carries a carnation and a candle as signs of peaceful protest  during a protest staged by cultural workers in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

A protester in zombie makeup carries a carnation and a candle as signs of peaceful protest during a protest staged by cultural workers in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Protesters wear paper masks of prime minister Janez Jansa as a skull during a protest staged by cultural workers in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Protesters wear paper masks of prime minister Janez Jansa as a skull during a protest staged by cultural workers in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

After that, holidays kicked in and we had another nationwide uprising, a general attack on shopping centers, drink stands in Ljubljana etc. Some would say it was just another zombie apocalypse.

In the last days of December, the annual street arts festival Ana Mraz was held in Ljubljana again. It’s fun, it’s as awesome as Ana Desetnica in the summer, but it’s cold. So this year, they had a day dedicated to fiery performances.

Marijana Hadzic performs during the annual Ana Mraz street theatre festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Marijana Hadzic performs during the annual Ana Mraz street theatre festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

And then I dropped. Well, not exactly. I still had to shoot a New Year’s party for children and the nine pin Kranj Cup competition, but haven’t really had the energy left to edit … :)

Most of the news stories pictured here ended up being at the top of Most read section at Demotix News, but there were no sales. Instead, on the day of some of our most violent protests even Corbis that takes news from Demotix (and doesn’t have many of their own) failed to add any of the photos from Slovenia to the News photos of the day gallery, but it did include a photo of cars, wet road, and first snowflakes in the air from Germany. I rest my case.

Nevertheless, I did something this year that I haven’t done before. I proved to myself and to others that I can do it. I can reach the desired quality and go beyond. I can cover all sorts of news, even violent protests. I even put Slovenia on the map for thousands of viewers a story at Demotix. Several times each week for two months… I could keep going. I probably will. And I am still available for assignments of course. But with selfcomissioned news and stories… I’ll have to shift down a bit.

2013 will be different. A lot different. I won’t put my hopes on photojournalism anymore. I have a bigger project to start. For my family and my friends and just about everybody that ever made a difference in my life. More on that some other time…

So thank you all and I wish you a happy and successful 2013.

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