Bushmen once were hunters; nowadays they mimic their hunting days for visitors.
A hunter knows his bow and arrow. As they search for they prey with such vigilance, even lions seem trepid. Unfortunately, someone said they are farmers. Sun is scorching, there’s no food. Children wander, houses are now empty.
About Goran Jovic
Photography was not my primary vocation but it all started as an unusual and challenging type of relaxation. After finding a mentor, getting all the necessary equipment and having acquired sufficient knowledge and practice, I began to photograph and, in 2008, I found out that photography is not a mere hobby for me but my true and only profession.
Somehow I have always gravitated towards documentary photography due to its innate candid power which is mostly held in its non-posed and unguarded moment. Coming from a small Balkan country, I knew that I need to find my subjects someplace small and unknown to the eyes of the observers since all these small places hide people and cultures which may seem insignificant but are true to the bone and offer a lot. As I prepared for my first journey to such place, I tried my luck and improved my photography skills on the streets of New York and Barcelona. While documenting lives of Harlem’s homeless people and street life in the Catalan barrios, I decided to develop my own principles in documentary photography. Thus, I strived to make photos of sensitive cultural scenes or personal moments without changing them by the presence of camera. What’s more, it was challenging to document all these cultures, people’s destinies and stories and costumes in words, too. Nevertheless, documenting by camera and by pen makes my photography unique and it is all done through a process of adaptation in countries and tribes that I have visited which makes me invisible as a photographer to them and present as their friend, as one of them.
Documentary photography challenge started in 2011 during my first visit to Tanzania. It was somewhat of a personal epiphany, too since I went there as a volunteer with the aid association Kolajna ljubavi. It was a perfect beginning for practicing my planned principles because I was not only photographing people there but also helping them. Thus, while living and volunteering among members of the tribes in National Park Ngorongoro I could easily reach into their moments and capture truthful and objective photography of Maasai people and their culture.
Having experienced life of African tribes I decided to take a step further and dive into the unknown. Amazonian rainforests seemed as a perfect choice due to the fact that its depths hide one of the most isolated tribes in the world Wuaruni. Living with a Wuaruni family gave me opportunity to document the most delicate moments of their everyday life such as hunting or family reminiscing small talk over the fire. The story was complete when I boldly entered and photographed Brazilian favela slums. Such places require savvy and brave photographer since you enter situations of physical danger and social restrictedness.
In 2013 I sought for a double challenge and decided to document complete opposites when it comes to dismantling cultures and human emotions through photography. January was reserved for Ethiopia and its indigenous tribes where I found myself in the midst of significant cultural moment – a wedding ceremony which defies all the glitter of modern world and is based on sacrifice and pain. In July, my time and skills were focused solely on making a unique reportage about the forbidden Kingdom of Lo in Nepal. Some daredevil decisions led me into conclusion that it is important to immerse yourself not only into the culture of a country but into its landscapes, too therefore I made photographs which heightened the idea of emptiness and fearsome scenery in order to show people there are places they never hoped to visit but they could if they dared to because now they know that someone lives there and tries not to stumble over any obstacle.
In 2014, I packed my equipment to explore the wilderness of Indonesian archipelago, more precisely Siberut island and it was a somewhat of a curved ball in my documentary photography style. Living with Mentawai and documenting their lifestyle was a kind of a revelation – photographers sometimes only document life without knowing it. Mentawai changed it for me, that is why there may be a lot of sympathy and affection in my Mentawai photography. Hidden communities live values that have been hidden form modern societies lately. However, visiting Indonesia would not be complete without some ‘living on the edge’ which is powerfully reflected in a story about sulphur miners at the bottom of the most toxic crater in the world.
My latest assignment was to capture the story of the Bushmen tribe in Namibia… [Official Website]