The shepherds’ community on Velika planina, a plateau in Kamnik-Savinja Alps is one of the oldest herding settlements in Europe, ageing back till mid-ages. It’s a place that is culturally significant to Slovenia – a small mid-European country. In 2010, as a teenager, I started to explore this notion of community; the Shepherds’ settlement in the mountains, that has been disappearing in front of my eyes, which transcended into a much larger project, seeking the implication and impact of men and land overpowered by the globalized world and globalized economy.


The sense of shepherds’ life started to vividly decline in the recent years, as large corporate chain stores started to open in Slovenia. Economic struggles amongst small farmers are a common occurrence and it gradually became harder and harder for them to survive solely by farming. The younger members of the families were forced to find jobs in towns, leaving farming to their parents or grandparents. Consequently, the settlement in the mountains is nowadays mostly occupied by older members of the families and sometimes grandchildren during summer vacations.


The settlement on Velika planina today consists only of around 20 families. And while the decline symbolizes a disappearing culture and community, its utterly important for me to question the relationship small-scale farmers have with the ever more invading centralized food production by large corporations. With agriculture being in hands of large international companies, stories of such semi-nomadic farmers are as timely as ever. It is not about preserving a tradition, but survival.