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.
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.
Slovenia hosted the UEFA U-17 European Championship. I was comissioned by Imago to cover the matches in Ljubljana.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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“
The story about the Venetian lagoon ended with extreme flooding in the city.
In other news:
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”
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“.
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.
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.
But we did almost have a zombie apocalypse. The ruling party called the protesters on December 21 zombies so the next day they rose.
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.
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.