THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
The Dreamtime, or the Dreaming, portrays the Aboriginal beliefs in spiritual existence. According to the tribes that first settled down in the continent, the Dreaming's roots date all the way back to the very begging of the creation of the world. The meaning and ideology of the term is generally not so well-understood by non-indigenous people as it is referred to as part of the culture of one of the early nations, which differs from modern perceptions.
The Spirits were the creators of everything. They made the land and the seas, the rocks and the plants, the sky and the earth. They were the higher power and the Australian Aborigines spent their lifetimes honoring this power, which guided their path and shaped their way of thinking. Not only creators of everything, which could be seen as well as felt, the Spirits also gave the Aborigines the Dreaming.
The time when everything started existing according to the initial Australians, was called the Dreaming. This is the foundation of the continent's culture. The origin of the Dreaming goes way back - 65 000 years back in time to be exact. The Ancestors of the nation shaped the land, forming some parts of it as sacred. The Aborigines were very careful and overprotective of those places, strongly believing in their significance.
The Australian Aborigines are known to have believed that the world didn't have any shape and was therefore empty. Darkness dominated, and life was simply asleep, but this changed when the creation began happening. After the Dreaming and the influence of the Spirits, objects began taking shapes and came to be. They created the four elements: water, earth, air and fire, as well as all the planets, the Sun and the Moon. The Dreaming therefore is a continuous process, which never ended. It is a small cosmos on its own, unifying the past, present and the future into one.
The Australian Aborigines' home riches so many vivid areas of the continent, including Fraser Island, Tasmania, Palm Island, Groote Eylandt and Mornington Island. The Aborigines had very strong believes in relation to the powers of the land, claiming that they never owned it - it rather owned them. The only reason they were able to call it their home is because they were looking after it and the land was taking care of the people in return.
Equally important to the Dreaming was the tribes' understandings of the disappearance of the Spirits. There came a time, when the creators of everything vanished from sight. Some of them were thought to have started living in sacred places, which is why the Aborigines perceived their homeland to be so sacred. The ancestors of today's Australians used to believe that the creators started living in rocks, in water holes and some went up to the sky to guide the people from above and keep them safe. Others transformed completely, taking the forms of the rain, the lightnings and the thunderstorms so they could be part of peoples' life.
Among the hundred's different Aboriginal languages, there isn't a word to describe 'time', because to them this simply doesn't exist. Dreaming and Dreamtime are used to replace it and summarize the ideologies of the Aborigines about everything they knew, everything they could see, feel and experience. This is why the Dreaming has such a vivid, and overwhelming meaning and has survived the obstacles of time. For the past couple thousand years, the Dreaming has built a rich cultural heritage that can identify a whole nation.
Read more about the Land, its connection to people and the way it has been perceived from different generations in the very first print issue of ORIGIN. The Land Issue covers varied topics, most of which remain related to cultural aspects of the land and its importance.
A lot of people travel to explore places and learn about them which is the message that ORIGIN wants to spread. With traveling, however, comes certain responsibilities that we should all be aware of. Elephants riding has become a popular way to explore locations by land. People have been doing this as part of their trips, mostly to places such as Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia and other parts of Asia. It is a common thing to see in certain places in Africa as well. We investigated the activity to explain why it is wrong and riding elephants should be banned everywhere.
Our first print issue studies culture and traveling represented through the land. We explored various location around the globe and learned what makes the land so valuable, which nations cherish it and how it helps us establish an identity. Traveling is important to us but traveling responsibly and making an impact is what we feel proud to stand behind. This is why riding elephants as a way of amusement should be reconsidered.
Let’s talk about the details. Elephants are very caring and extremely intelligent animals. It is a well-known fact that they never forget anything. When kept in captivity instead of spending their life in the wild, elephants die younger. Unlike in other species, this is common for the gentle giants and is often a result for stress.
Many African cultures respect elephants, believing they symbolize strength, loyalty and power. However, power can be a very tender concept. Elephant used as a tourism tool suffer from great pain daily. Elephants can be hurt very severely from the weight of carrying people and a trainer on their backs. The reason for this is the design of their spines. They have sharp protrusions, extending upwards from their spine instead of having round spinal disks. The protrusions and the tissue that serves to protect them can be harmed easily from weight pressure. Once a damage to their spine has been made, there is no going back and sometimes the harm can be irreversible. While this can’t be physically seen, the harm that the chairs can do to the elephants’ skin is. It is often the case that the chairs and the weight on their back can damage the animal’s skin and cause pain to their body. The chair, called Howdah, that gets attached to their backs, rubs on their skin and can cause blisters, which can sometimes get infected.
The training that elephants are required to go through when in captivity sometimes adopts a traditional Thai ‘phajaan’ or ‘crush’ technique. Explaining the technique would compare it to the animals’ spirits constantly and continuously being broken by the means of torture and social isolation. This is done in order to tame them. Elephants are wild animals, this is their nature as they are born in such conditions. Making them safe and obedient around people requires them to go through such training. As horrible as it sounds, in some places young elephants are taken away from their mothers to be abused with nails, bull hooks and bamboo sticks to make them obey rules, given by people. The animals often lack sleep and are starved to become submissive.
Actions from such nature are cruel and harmful as the technique is used to crash the animals’ spirit. Once wild and free, elephants become a source of tourism and entertainment. Nobody, who cared about sustainable tourism should ever ride an elephant.
In a sense, elephants have a human soul. They socialise and feel everything – pain, happiness, grief, sadness etc. They spend their life building families and finding friends. The largest land animals are a gift from nature and it is our responsibility to take special care of them and make sure they live according to their nature. Many animals, who are kept in captivity, are forced to live in isolation and carry heavy loads all day long, which is a wrong way to treat them. Their strength and power shouldn’t be abused but treated gently and celebrated by people. Elephants require minimal care to stay happy and healthy, which comes from giving them freedom to behave naturally and socialise. It is our responsibility to be culturally aware while traveling and make sure to spread awareness about the problem.
You can read the rest of the article as published in the LAND issue.
A TRIBUTE TO AN ENDLESS SUMMER VACATION
Seaside holiday vibes portrayed in pastel shades of palm tree green and vivid hues of seawater blue - dip into that summer feeling of freedom through the stunning photography of the talented Natalie Obradovich
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Natalie Obradovich
30 May 2023
Fine sand that sticks to your sun kissed skin, lounging under the palm shade secluded by the seaside and nothing but a boat in sight gently rocked by the tranquil dance of the waves - Natalie's photography has a postcard-worthy feel of endless summer vacations. To see the world through her camera lens is to dip in the warm waters of European beaches, to spend the day relaxing by the rainbow sun umbrellas that cool down Capri's coastline and to allow yourself to enjoy the moment for all its freeing, glamorous joy that only summer can bring.
With vivid hues of blue and pastel shades of green, Natalie Obradovich's artistic style has a unique way of capturing the viewer's attention. Her photography sets a mood that feels every bit dreamy and indulgent. The seaside has always been present in Natalie's life as she grew up in Manhattan Beach, California. She started capturing the slow pace of beach-living at the gorgeous Cali strips. Later on, that passion led her to pack up her camera and head abroad.
As a New York and Los Angeles based travel photographer, Nathalie balances her job with her lust for chasing the summer sun. Her adventures to the shores of Europe are encapsulated through a collection of beautiful prints, each of which reflecting the charm of that carefree summer living we all know oh-so-well. If you are still in the process of planning your next trip, Natalie's work will no doubt inspire your itinerary. From the Italian Riviera to the pristine coastlines of Croatia, following in this photographer's footsteps will take you to some of the most incredible locations you can imagine.
From the reason she decided to pick up a camera in the first place to opening up about what sparks her inspiration, Natalie kindly shares her experiences with our editors, while giving us insider tips on her go-to summer destinations.
‘‘I love the joy and carelessness of summer. I feel people are their most relaxed and happy versions of themselves.’’
Natalie Obradovich for NOMADSofORIGIN Magazine
NOMADSofORIGIN: You have a signature photography style. How do you describe your work and what do you strive to embody in it?
Natalie: That is so hard! I'm trained as an interior designer and I essentially fell into this career, it was never planned. I am clearly very attracted to Italy. Other than that, I try to embody a feeling of being somewhere in a moment that you don't want to forget. The perfect day with your friends, your partner, your family or even alone - when you feel truly content and joy in a moment. To look at a photo and understand what it feels like to be there. Because I'm selling my work in a commercial capacity, the feedback that means the most to me is that my photos remind those who buy them of a special day, memory, or part of their lives. That makes doing what I do gratifying and I'm grateful to be on anyone's wall.
NOMADSofORIGIN: From Italy to Croatia, your work has taken you to some incredible places. What are your favourite destinations you've been to?
Natalie: Capri is my first choice as you can see in my photos - I've spent the last three summers essentially living there and it's somewhere I will (hopefully) spend time in the summer for the rest of my life. It's a truly magical place and a place that feels like home to me.
Kenya was another truly remarkable experience, every person should experience Africa at least one time in their life.
Other favorites are Bora Bora and Anguilla.
NOMADSofORIGIN: What inspires you?
Natalie: Beautiful things, places and good friends, family and nice people. Watching the way people live on holiday in the summer in Europe.
NOMADSofORIGIN: What camera models do you prefer to work with?
Natalie: I shoot only with a Canon R5, I'm by no means a camera nerd - my camera is a means to an end. I could honestly use a photography course, ha! Ignorance is bliss for how I shoot I think.
NOMADSofORIGIN: Summer is a prevalent aspect of your work. Why do you choose to shoot this beautiful season and what's your favourite thing about summertime?
Natalie: I grew up in Manhattan Beach, California and my childhood on the beach has greatly impacted how I like to live. I spent my summers at the beach from sun up until sundown - my parents couldn't even get me to wear shoes. I love the joy and carelessness of summer. I feel people are their most relaxed and happy versions of themselves.
NOMADSofORIGIN: There's a vintage feel to your photographs that stands out as both chic and nostalgic. How do you achieve that balance?
Natalie: Part of the process is taking the photo and a huge part is editing. The vintage feel comes from editing (I think). When I set out a goal to shoot something specific my photos are largely terrible. If I live in the moment and happen to have my camera, those are usually the best photos I take. The lack of trying to achieve a balance is oddly what works best. Although I do try to avoid cell photos, pool toys, anything that stands out.
NOMADSofORIGIN: Which artists and photographers do you look up to?
Natalie: Massimo Vitali, Slim Aarons (I think that one's pretty obvious).
NOMADSofORIGIN: What's in store for the future for Natalie Obradovich Photography?
Natalie: My coffee table book which comes out in the fall!
Follow @natalieobradovich on social media.
NOMADSofORIGIN x Natalie Obradovich
This interview appears in NOMADSofORIGIN Magazine print #06 The Trailblazers Issue