The photography monograph you have before you shows a side of Moslavina that remains out of sight. This 'hidden' Moslavina includes the wilderness comprising of Moslavačka gora, part of Lonjsko polje up to Lonja river, and the meadows that connect them. Here the Hills, the Meadow and the Field are not merely spaces where plant and animal life happens, but are equal participants of the tumultuous dynamics of the region.
The photographs created between 2009 and 2012, comprising the most important part of this book, will evoke these very dynamics. The photographs are not supposed to capture everything one can see in this part of Moslavina, but present my personal view of the richness of life in this area.
Hidden Moslavina holds a foreword by a sociologist Dražen Šimleša, followed by a short introduction by an ecologist Jagoda Munić on the vulnerability and potential of the Moslavina region. The main parts of the book are the four chapters representing the Hills, the Meadow, the Field and Man through photographs and short prologues.
"I have known for some time now that Luka was working on a book about the beauties of Moslavina region. He had said there would be little text in the book, but that he had collected quite a large number of photographs. I was pleasantly surprised to see this side of Luka – a calm, dreamy and slow-paced side of him which can fit in a single frame. It is quite different from how I normally see him: as an environmental activist always on the go.
However, I was not aware, until he asked me to write this foreword and sent me the manuscript, that he had named the book Hidden Moslavina. I found the title particularly interesting because it reminded me of The Hidden Connections, a book by one of my favourite authors, Fritjof Capra. In it, Capra reminds us, similarly to what he does in his other works, that everything is connected and intertwined in this great ecosystem that is our planet. Through the circulation of materials and substances and the celebration of diversity, the ecosystem gravitates toward a state of dynamic balance. When a system is out of balance, sustainable development is not possible.
Capra’s thoughts are confirmed by one of the largest scientific research on the state of the world ecosystems - Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, published in 2006 with contributions from over a thousand scientists. This report is crucial to us not only because it portrays the state of the world’s ecosystems, but also because it points to a direct link between the deterioration, diminished biocapacity and the quality of connections in ecosystems to the deteriorated state of the human communities surrounding the ecosystems. As the vitality and liveliness of ecosystems goes down, so does the quality of life in our own societies, affecting human rights and freedom for the worse. These are the "hidden connections” we humans have decided to ignore and put aside as if they had nothing to do with us – even when it comes down to the natural order of things and simple, common sense.
As if blatant destruction of precious ecosystems and diminishing the biodiversity and biocapacity of the planet was not enough, we do it with an ever increasing carbon footprint, meaning the rate of the consumption and destruction is ever increasing. We are so engulfed in the blind pursuit of profit and accumulation of products and things that not only have we hidden these connections, but we have buried them so deeply as not to bother us or slow us down. The latest data published in Living Planet Report 2012 show that on a global level, we need 1.5 planets to keep up with our carbon footprint, while taking in account the rate of consumption in Croatia, we would need 2.3 planets. The question is, however, whether we are at least happy with this lifestyle and consumption. Happiness and well-being, however, are hidden precisely in discovering and illuminating the hidden connections. That is why it should not surprise us to see man featured in this book, along with the hills, meadows and fields.
The only thing keeping us from even greater ecological trouble is the wealth of our ecosystems and biocapacity. By photographing Moslavina landscapes, Luka shows us one of these treasures.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and if we did not realise that before, after "reading” Luka’s photographs it will become perfectly clear. Only the pictures that create a connection have this value. The photographs of Hidden Moslavina create a bond with the region and bring with them the needed balanced dynamics. We can find peace, serenity, silence, temperance, but also wilderness, liveliness, movement, expansion and vibrance in them. Luka has succeeded in making us feel a good kind of jealousy by looking at these pictures, wishing we could swap places with him. Still there is plenty for us to enjoy in the Moslavina he has brought to us through his heart’s eye and his eye’s view.
Fritjof Capra reveals in The Hidden Connections how everything on our planet is interconnected. With his book, Luka reveals how the small Moslavina region connects to the entire world, and through it, to all of us.
dr. sc. Dražen Šimleša