It is about time I posted my submissions to Slovenia Press Photo here on my blog, like I always do. No talking, some people who read this truly don’t get my caricature style of writing, so I’ll just let the photos do the talking. And captions since quite a lot has been said about them at the opening of the exhibition.
SLOVENIA PRESS PHOTO BEST STORY
BEST STORY – PEOPLE
Barbara waits for her defectologist Nada Slana to take her to elementary school in Dornava where she attends first graders once a week. Dr. Marjian Borštnar rehabilitation institute in Dornava, Slovenia, April 5, 2012. She suffers from severe cerebral palsy, spasms and cannot speak, but unlike other severe cases like her, she is intelligent. What is even rarer is her ability to effectively communicate through her eyes and mimic. Her defeating the highly spasmic body to communicate with the outside world is an inspirational story of victory of mind over body. And she is almost never sad.
Barbara solves mathematical tasks in a computer software by showing the result with movement and looks. Her defectologist Nada Slana shows her possible answers and monitors the response. However, Barbara’s communication is so good, that Nada notices her answer without specifically asking or pointing at possible answers. Dr. Marijan Borštnar rehabilitation institute in Dornava, Slovenia, March 19, 2012.
Barbara regularily visits therapies in the rehabilitation center to improve her mobility and relax her body. During physiotherapy she is placed in positions she could never achieve herself. These positions that are irregular to her disease help the body to relax. Dr. Marijan Borštnar rehabilitation institute in Dornava, Slovenia, on May 30, 2012. She also attends work therapy, dog assisted therapy and of course the most important for her way of communicating: a speech therapist.
Barbara’s team cheers after they have won a bingo game, and completed the most mathematical tasks of all teams, while actively including Barbara in their task solving. Dornava elemetary school, April 5, 2012. Being so intelligent, she attends first grade class in a regular school. Her schoolmates communicate with her the same way she communicates with everybody. Movement and eyes. Everybody understands her.
Barbara embraces Sisy during a dog assisted therapy, that strengthens her ability to control her limbs and relaxes her. Dr. Marijan Borštnar rehabilitation institute in Dornava, Slovenia, September 29, 2011. Her love of dogs makes her try harder to embrace or caress the dog, therefore control her movement. But the dog’s biggest effect is his ability to relax her completely, stopping spasms and unclutch her fists.
Barbara’s brother Andrej throws Barbara in the air in a play Barbara loves a lot, in front of their house in Zavrč, Slovenia, April 7, 2012. She has two brothers and three sisters. Her mother is unemployed, her father works hard all day, but the monthly pay can hardly provide for the family. The house needs finishing and repairs, mostly to protect from humidity. This is where Barbara is most happy. She comes home for all holidays and vacations.
Barbara’s sister Petra and brother Andrej help Barbara paint easter eggs in her home during easter holidays, Zavrč, Slovenia, April 7, 2012.
Barbara, her brother Andrej and her sister Petra play a board game in the kitchen of their home in Zavrč, Slovenia, April 7, 2012. The living quarters are situated on the first floor where they need to carry Barbara up a flight of rather steep and narrow stairs. The kitchen, being on the north side, has been subject to humidity due to bad insulation which in turn damaged furniture and caused mould to accumulate on the walls. Fixing all these problems is slow. Costs of living are high and money is scarce.
Barbara and her defectologist Nada Slana ride a swing outside dr. Marijan Borštnar rehabilitation institute in Dornava, Slovenia, March 19, 2012. Nada spends most of her time with her, washing her, dressing her, playing with her and participating in every possible activity in the rehabilitation institute.
After being on a waiting list for some time, Barbara finally received the eye controled communicator that allows her to speak, say anything she wants, read, watch photos etc. in May 2012. She controls the pointer by moving her look around the screen. When she stops on a symbol and pauses, the communicator registers a click. Hundreds of symbols can be saved in the program. Folders contain symbols of everything she needs for communicating. What she wants to wear, eat, drink, how she feels, colors, numbers, activities, everything. She can read books and flip through albums. In the future when she grows up and fully masters it, she’ll be able to use the on-screen keyboard, browse the internet, have a Facebook profile, or send emails. Dr. Marijan Borštnar rehabilitation institute in Dornava, Slovenia, October 12, 2012.
BEST STORY – NEWS
Protesters carry a zombie cardboard cutout during a protest staged by cultural workers on December 22 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Anti-government protest have been organized in Ljubljana, Maribor and other bigger cities in Slovenia since November 2012. The protesters demanded the corrupt political elites to resign, especially prime minister Janez Jansa, following continuous new allegations and even investigation reports of corruption. The leading party, however, took quite an arrogant stance against the protesters, calling them zombies at one point, which brough even more people to the streets. On several occasions the protests eventually turned violent.
A protester carries a sign with several accusations against the government during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia, November 30, 2012.
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, on December 14, 2012.
Protesters wear paper masks of prime minister Janez Jansa as a skull during a protest staged by cultural workers in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on December 22, 2012.
A protester gestures towards the municipality building during a protest against the local government and the city council in Maribor, Slovenia, on January 7, 2013.
Protesters try to tear down the security fences in the Republic Square during the second countrywide uprising in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on January 11, 2013.
Policemen clash with the protesters during protests against the mayor of Maribor Franc Kangler in Maribor, Slovenia, on December 3, 2012.
Fireworks go off in a group of policemen making an arrest during protests against the mayor of Maribor Franc Kangler in Maribor, Slovenia, on December 3, 2012.
A protester tries to evade a water canon jet during anti-government protests in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on November 30, 2012. This was the first time in history of the country that the water canon was used.
A protester carries a smoke bomb to throw to the police during protests against the mayor of Maribor Franc Kangler in Maribor, Slovenia, on December 3, 2012.
BEST STORY – NATURE & ENVIRONMENT
The Venetian lagoon is subject to several factors that destroy its structures and biodiversity, most notably climate change and human intervention. High tides flood Venice regularily, especially the San Marco Square. One of the highest tides in recent years struck Venice on November 1, 2012. The lagoon is sinking while sea levels are rising, which causes damage to the lagoon structures and of course to the infrastructure of the city of Venice. The Consorzio Venezia Nuova and others have been working to preserve the lagoon for decades, while other services also help safeguard this ecosystem. They help protect salt marshes and mudflats, reinforce their banks or reconstruct them entirely. But to save the lagoon from flooding an enormous and controversial project of flood gates (MOSE) at the three lagoon inlets is underway.
The salt marshes around San Francesco del Deserto island in the north lagoon have all been reconstructed by the Consorzio Veneza Nuova after they have completely disappeared mostly due to high tides. So far over 1,430 hectares of salt marshes have been recreated. Presently, most extensive reconstruction work is underway in the south Venetian lagoon to rebuild salt marshes and reinforce their shores to protect them from waves that erode them and eventually destroy them.
Charles Ray’s sculpture The Boy with a Frog stands on the very tip of the Punta della Dogana in Venice while a large cruise ship passes through the Grand Canal. Heavy traffic of these large ships is believed to cause deterioration of the biodiversity of the lagoon, because large ships displace a lot of water, cause waves that affect salt marshes as well as buildings in the city, but also displace the soil on the bottom which in turn deepens the lagoon and carries away the important organisms that make the lagoon ecosystem.
A strange circle of vegetation is seen on one of three islands created fifty years ago when the industrial district of Marghera dug a deep canal in the lagoon to allow the passage of large cargo ships and dumped the material here to create ground for a new housing project. The Venetians were against it and shut the project down. The salt marshes are an important bird and plants habitat.
The police monitors the implementation of enviromental laws in the lagoon. Besides poaching and other violations in the lagoon itself, Marghera (in the background), the main source of pollution of the lagoon, remains a major problem.
The MOSE project flood gates will soon be installed on all three lagoon inlets. Lido, Malamocco and Chioggia. The gates will rise to prevent high tides flooding the lagoon. In October 2012, the concrete caissons that will host the gates were already installed on the Lido inlet seabed. Work underwater was underway. Workers descended to the caissons through shafts seen here emerging out of the water in the middle of the inlet.
The MOSE project control room is where scientists will monitor weather, predict high tides well ahead, issue warnings and operate the gates. It is located in Venice Arsenal and allows scientists to monitor the entire lagoon from Jesolo to Chioggia.
A strong high wall called the Murazzi stretches some 20 km along the barrier island of Pellestrina to protect the lagoon from open sea and the waves that come with storms. The wall was built over two hundred years ago and was restored in the 1970s.
Venice is subject to strong storms, Bora and scirocco winds that bring waves and high tides that eventually flood the city. Storms at sea and inland are especially dangerous. The open sea storms bring tides, while the inland storms bring flooding from rivers that flow into the lagoon.
Tourist stroll the city in boots or on boardwalks among seagulls swimming around them. If feeding pidgeons is popular on a regular day, feeding seagulls is fun during high tides. Flooding causes major structural damage to the foundations and the buildings in Venice. Tides carry away soil from the bottom and cause Venice to sink even faster in some places. Buildings are therefore structurally instable and several reconstruction works are underway. The city is sinking one to two milimeters a year, while the north lagoon is subsiding 2 to 3 mm a year and the islands in the south lagoon are sinking at a rate of 3 to 4 mm a year. This subsidence will have to be accounted for by the scientists trying to protect the lagoon.
I submitted no other stories. But I did play around with a few singles.
A protester in zombie makeup carries a carnation and a candle as signs of peaceful protest during a protest staged by cultural workers on December 22, 2012, in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
President of Slovenia and presidential candidate Dr. Danilo Turk speaks to his supporters after the first round of presidential elections in Slovenia. Ljubljana, Slovenia, November 11, 2012. Presidential candidate Borut Pahor beat him in the first round of the elections by roughly four percent of votes.
President of Slovenia and presidential candidate Dr. Danilo Turk gets ready for a TV interview after losing the first round of presidential elections in Slovenia to Borut Pahor by roughly four percent of votes. Ljubljana, November 11, 2012.
President of Slovenia and presidential candidate Dr. Danilo Turk speaks to member of the European parliament Ivo Vajgl after the first round of presidential elections in Slovenia. Ljubljana, Slovenia, November 11, 2012. Presidential candidate Borut Pahor beat him in the first round of the elections by roughly four percent of votes.
A war veteran wearing a veteran’s cap and a carnation protests during a countrywide anti-government protest on December 21 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Anti-government protest have been organized in Ljubljana, Maribor and other bigger cities in Slovenia since November 2012. The protesters demanded the corrupt political elites to resign, especially prime minister Janez Jansa, following continuous new allegations and even investigation reports of corruption.
Robert Kranjec (SLO) competes in the Sunday’s individual competition at the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup finals in Planica, March 18. 2012., Slovenia.
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.
You can see why this fisherman photo doesn’t really work. I entered it anyway in case someone wanted to look closer or figure out why it’s different.
ART & ENTERTAINMENT
I do loads of that in the local club where I cover events, but I decided not to send any of that.
Theaker von Ziarno performs during the Ana Desetnica international street arts festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Jun 28 2012.
Disney’s Mickey Mouse mascot takes a final look at Ljubljana from above before leaving Ljubljana, Slovenia on November 20, 2012. The original mascot met with the American Ambassador to promote the upcoming show.
An art stand is seen alone on an empty street in Venice on October 24, 2012.
And that’s it. Thanks to anyone participating, joining me, helping me get the story, edit it. You rock!