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About the Book
In summer 2011 large scale logging was carried out in valuable parts of the largest Czech national park, Sumava, after a new director was appointed. Environmental NGOs approached authorities trying to save wilderness forests without success so a peaceful blockade was started in the felling area while police and other security forces assisted the logging and violently dispersed protesters. Sumava is a Natura 2000 site, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, and its peat bogs and peat forests are listed as Ramsar sites.
I first developed my photographic eye in Montreal, where I studied photography at Dawson College. But Dawson Collage teaches commercial photography, and in any case I found that I was more comfortable wandering the streets with my camera than being locked up in a studio. Montreal’s streets were not enough for me, however, so I started to travel to different places. I became resolved to document the lives of people who are persecuted or neglected. In 1998, during the war in Kosovo, I encountered the Czech NGO, People in Need, and since then I have contributed to their efforts with my work. It’s very important for me to be involved in the environment that I am photographing. To be accepted by the people I photograph and to become one of them is a part of what I do. This takes time, but it allows me to be a privileged witness of social occasions and rituals that would otherwise be off-limits: births, baptisms, spiritual ceremonies, weddings and funerals.