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Vladimir Djurović – about the flow of life & work

It comes by itself, goals or aspirations that I have for myself on a personal level. And I just look, and then they fit perfectly for the company as well: one way of looking at things, the same interest, the same passion, revolving around nature, and always almost sailing, but not on the sea. Just open and see where things are going, and it’s very interesting how many different winds you catch and it takes you somewhere very interesting… So I’m very open, I’ve become very open. And liberated, I’m not stopped by anything, I don’t know, I can’t explain it. There’s a very very close merge. Like Montenegro started as something for me, and now I see it could be a perfect place to take our clients and help them see the difference, help them to raise their awareness and help them do the right things through seeing an example where we really didn’t do much in a way. What you do a lot is not, is not to do – you know what I mean: It’s what you don’t do, that’s what we’re doing. Because I have a client coming: Hey, we hired you, we paid you, you’re telling us not to do anything, what is this? 

So anyway, it’s merging very closely. I’m almost losing the boundaries between things. And I’m loving it because it’s holistic. There’s no word and it’s not that, on the other hand, I have no life and I’m all work… On the contrary. I mean, I don’t work, I don’t feel I’m working. And when I feel I’m working, it means I’m working on the wrong project or there’s something wrong. So yes, it’s interesting. And I love doing environments that allow for these things to happen. And somehow also, over the 25 years, if you want, at work, this position now, you realise more and more that you can apply it and you can use it to make more of these connections, to push things more in the right way, to raise awareness as well, and to fully utilise what we have built until now for that purpose as well. You know, to put it to the best use possible and not to look at it as business… I’m always open and I’m always learning; the more connections, the more people you meet, when you’re open and absorbing and connecting, and seeing the connectedness of everything and everyone. And especially, when the right energy is aligned and how it feels when it’s right.

I mean yes, when I started, it was… OK, I grew up in nature, I grew up in forests. Our old house, we were in a pine forest. I used to leave the house in the morning and come back at night with my friends. In the forest all day long. But then, I went to the US and England and studied landscape architecture for 16 years, but at the beginning I was obsessed with doing beautiful gardens, design, design of beautiful gardens. And our school – it’s very funny how things happen… Because I went to a school called University of Georgia, Athens, School of Environmental Design. And all they taught us was about protecting and bringing back the environment and working with nature. However, we hated it. We were fighting it: “What is this university?” Because at Harvard, they were only teaching design. And we felt we were not given the tools to be good designers. Because we want to be great designers, we want to design, design, design. And I thought: They are really strange, what are they talking about, native ecosystem and restoring ecosystems and… Because we had no clue. We were so unaware in a way, so naive to not see what was happening. The environmental movement, of course, was happening even before, but we wanted everything new, we wanted to design special things. So I was going to be trained to be a designer. Like I said, obsessed with that aesthetic layer, with that layer that everybody sees: “O wow, great designer, look at this beautiful garden…” Yes, it changes with the season, it has natural aspects, but what you see on the surface was extremely important…How we build the reflection, the perspective from each corner, the materiality… I was obsessed with it because somehow it was what everybody wanted and… I don’t know… Even my family – I come from a family of interior designers. So everybody: design, design, design… 

And it took a long time, over two decades, for me to start first seeing, when I started traveling all around the world and realised that everywhere I went in the most pristine remote areas, clients would buy spectacular pieces of land and ask us to destroy them; us and the architects. And make this amazing land, I could feel the spirit of that place without knowing, back then in the beginning I was also discovering that I could. But then I know when we finished the project, it became about the architect, architecture, the landscape and blablabla, and the place is no longer there. It’s there, but not really… 

And now it’s all about how do we amplify the sense of a place, how you bring it to life, we need to disappear, we need to do nothing, you know. Or whatever we do, number one is to amplify that sense of a place, the place should speak. So it took me two decades, 20 years of projects and traveling, for that thing to happen, probably in Wadi Rum was the first realisation that everything we’re doing is wrong and the power when you don’t touch it, what you feel: the real truth, you know? And that teaches you the need that you have to be completely… You can’t be separated with nature. You are nature, you are part of it. And we were always out of it, wanted to dominate, wanted to put our mark, wanted… And now, we have to unlearn absolutely everything, stay back and start from scratch, listening, learning, observing, trying and really giving back all these natural systems that we destroyed all around the world. Trying in every project to bring them back, to the right place, to give back a sense of place and let it start happening again if we can.

And now we’re starting to learn about how you would do that and how you would become and how our projects used to finish. You design it, you finish it, I give it to you: here it is. Ok, I used to follow up after, but my job was done. So with this new approach now, it’s just the beginning, because we’re just setting these seeds, and with it, replicating that natural system for nature to take over then. And you, you have to just guide it, somehow, a little bit, and protect it, shepherd it along the way. And then, the job is never finished.

To develop and reach that point where it doesn’t need anybody and it becomes a natural system that can take care of itself, without us coming back in and messing around with it, and the clients deciding, OK, there are some unwanted species coming from birds, let’s spray the crap out of it, you know, let’s kill… To keep an eye, to make sure that we don’t go back to what we’re used to doing. Not just us, everybody, the clients and all. So you have to stay to keep guiding it. And to keep guarding it. 

So it all started from the love for nature, and then the love for design, using nature a little bit, imposing on it, to now going back and learning. I wanna learn so much more about natural systems, about all of that, the ecological aspects. Funny enough about that, my university was all about that. More than 35 years ago they were so advanced in it and we wanted it different, we didn’t want that.

And with our projects, it’s not only us in a way. We bring on board new connections, always, in every mission, that’s the aspiration, we get so many people with us, specialists in different fields, because you know there’s so much to tackle in this new direction. We bring them, but then we have to somehow orchestrate it, to let the results stay on course and arrive to the desired direction, otherwise one of these guys can take it completely in one direction, but you cannot lose what the clients want and what the mission is. So you become a conductor. We’re feeling now we are more becoming like you have to bring all these people, and get it to harmonise and achieve results together. And it’s a learning for everybody.

You cannot design a beautiful park, and people come and sit, and pretend there is nothing wrong now. I mean, the damage we’ve caused for us now is so grave and dramatic that we have to address it while creating this special places, but not only for people. For all living species. Now equal. So it’s no more a park for people, and benches for the people and trees for shade and walkways… This is finished now. It has to be an environment that sustains biological diversity and all sorts of life. Otherwise, it has no meaning for me now. I want to be a bit … A bit categorical. With lines that work architecturally: there are buildings… You do all that, but in the end, the natural environment has to shine as the main important player. Instead of the design and the aesthetics. 

I look forward, like I said, to the last part: to push much harder in this direction and then to rise to the point where the clients arrive with us to this point that they want us to go there and we go much further, and not just us pushing them there. Which will happen. And even to sometimes get clients who already want that, and you come and you take them there, and further. Because we’re stretching them now. When they come to us, they don’t want any of that. But how much and how far can you stretch them? You know. But if they come and they are already more evolved or awakened somehow, or conscious, then I can go further. Because we always want to go much further. Further at every level. Out of the program, out of the sight, out of everything.

To go much further is to have a client that has a lot of land and is not so sure what to do with it. And maybe his goal is not to make a fortune. To develop something that can sustain, definitely, even economically and all of that: how can we do it so that everybody benefits? When nature benefits, when the community benefits, when everybody can benefit, locally and globally, somehow. Because every project has a lot of potentials. To be a seed that can be an example for the place, for other places, etc., etc. So if we can do more of these examples and sow these seeds everywhere…

… I can’t articulate all these things. I operate by feelings in a way, and it’s very clear to me that we’re at that point.

There are many other and easier places to run a business… Regarding all the difficulties in Lebanon… I mean, I have four types, and now we might enter the fifth type to sustain our electricity. Because we work on computers, we don’t have electricity all the time, the people we pay the money to generate electricity – the service where you pay and they give you electricity when government electricity cuts off – are not reliable either. And then we have our generator, so we have to turn it on when those two sources go bad. The generator fuel prices went crazy, the pollution it makes, the sound it gives… Poison, all of it. Now we’re looking for solar inverter. So it’s not easy to operate here, plus lots of international clients get scared… One of them from China told me that all his friends, on his level, are asking him are you crazy, in the whole country there’s less people than in the smallest village in China, on the end of the world, why do you go there and hire them, and the risk factor and blablabla…? So, of course, we can be anywhere, our work is international, we don’t have a lot of work in Lebanon … So we’re not here because of work.

I made a deal with my wife

Dimitris has three diplomas and  many jobs, AND his important concern and activity is to study, explore, preserve and educate others about the natural environment on Ikaria. He is a speleologist and knows over 40 caves on the island. He is also a member of a rescue team. ”I do many things, because I don't like to be bored.”

I think, for example, that my child can go alone to the town square from the age of six, because everybody is paying attention to what's going on and looking after my child, just as I am looking after the well-being of other people's children.

We do not have policemen here, we are doing the job ourselves, always checking if everything is OK, so the thieves don't steal anything, because if the owners catch you, they hit you, and the only way to survive is to run to police station, but we don't have one here.

I try to use photographs to show the beauty of the nature to the locals, that's why I practice photography. Here, even the people who work in the municipality don't know the island, they don't know its history. Once, I was doing an interview with an old man, and he told me something very useful about trees. If there are no male trees in the area, you must go to the river and find clear sand. Then, take the sand and wash the fruit tree very thoroughly from top to bottom and from bottom to top. This way, the fruit begins to grow and will not fall down as a small fruit. So it is important to preserve the knowledge of old people.

Local people do not dare to go into the caves. They know them from legends and stories, and Dimitri loves to dive deep into the magical mineral worlds.

The value we appreciate here, for example, is not to discriminate against the elderly and expel them to homes for the elderly. Why? Because they have the knowledge to pass on, and time for children as well.

Many people go to other countries to work, and they have lost the tradition of the island, they do not know its history, they do not know how to make the things you need in order to live here … So this is lost for the next generation. We need research for my generation to learn ... This is also my role in the Ikarian society, to bring more knowledge about the island, about nature, first of all, trees, caves, history, languages ... I am also a writer, and have published a book about ancient Ikarian languages.


Ikaria is OK if it has 15,000 goats, and now there are 41,000 of them here, since the peasants get big money from the EU to have goats.

We are policemen, volunteer firemen, volunteer rescuers, volunteer soldiers, since our politicians have signed a deal stating that there should not be official army on Ikaria, Samos, Chios. Therefore, everybody aged 2265 is a volunteer. We keep weapons in our house, we have an airport and two harbors. They are a very easy target, Our neighbor the president is a little crazy. Not people, people are like us. The officers are brainwashed. 

The island has its own microclimate: we have trees from Central Africa, trees from Central Europe, cork oak ...  We have many, many different areas, so the people who live in one area don't usually move to another much. So when they see my photos, they often say: ”Oh, this is Ikaria?” 

When I was working on my sailing license, an old guy said to me: If you see clouds near the top of Fournoi (neighboring islands), or if flies are biting you, do not go sailing - the weather will change and the south wind will blow ...

For me, my bottom line is friends, family, but only if they are good people,  first of all ... Many people that are now in their 70s are a little strange, all of them! I love guys who give to and help other people without expecting money or thanks ... Many people do it, I do it and I like it. If we are all doing it, we can feel safe as a community. I do not like Athens.


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Released by MED Land project / photography, editing: BB / cover photo: self-portrait by Dimitris Lesses,  transcription BB / proofreading: Tadej Turnšek, godfather of the story Barbara Čeferin

Posted by bojanb
3 years ago

Melania Geymonat

Malania add a lot to the project ! She joint MED Land during September and October 2018 and se was involved in few stories and challenges on Chios, Ikaria, Syros and Aegina island in Aegean sea.. She was "cool" in all situations and ready to help and learn. It meant me a lot since she just finished her final practice as a doctor in the hospital and with joining the project did a shift in her life to experience her creative side through filmmaking & activism, targeting sustainable life, rights… short video about Melania

AND here valuable inpressions from out times ..:

I went to Medland Project having recently finished my medical degree and with the fervent desire of knowing another ways of life. I come from Uruguay, Latin America, a country full of immigrants and with a colonial past. I went to Europe to reunite myself with my ancestors, my roots. In a continent that capitalism has changed so much the society, many people remain living with other values, in alternative ways that struggle in the daily routine to remain possible. But many people live still in alternative and usually creative ways of life, with another rhythm and connection with the land. MedLand Project searchs for this people, connects with them, makes them visible. Little was my knowledge about filmmaking, sailing or the Mediterranean sea, before going. In many ways, this project made me connect so much more with a continent that seemed to be far away from my own values. Sailing in Nalu across the Aegean sea, I learnt the sailor’s culture, lived in peace with nature, finding other agreements with life. I met extraordinary people living in Saros, Samos, Ikaria, Chios and other places we got to stay a bit. I learnt more and more the importance of art, once again, to connect, to communicate with one another.  I wrote, filmed, learnt photography, transcripted, cooked, dived… among many other beautiful things I got to do. This stories and people that remain hidden to the mainstream media are the treasures to be valued in order the pursuit for an alternative and more healthy way of life, and I love to be a part of it!

Posted by bojanb
3 years ago

What’s Going On By Giacomo Colonnelli

 Bojan explains 

- what is all about

- what is the outcome of the project till now

- who actually profit from it 

- MED Land now 

- do we go on, next steps 

- new goals 

- which is the my relationship with the boat

- why the Mediterranean is so important for me

- why boat maintenance is important

-...produced by Giacomo Colonneli /2020

Posted by bojanb
3 years ago

Clone of Clone of The first three days of 2020 – 800×600 PX

THE TEAM; Ivana Petan, Gregor Erjavec, Petra Petan and Bojan 

The first three days of 2020 we, MAD Landers, spend on island Hvar – THE home port of Nalu and main office for the project, located in Museum of Stari Grad (MED Land partner)


The trip started from the Split main ferry port.


Gregor Erjavec on January 1st 2020 in Stari Grad, Adriatic island Hvar. In 1996 Gregor and his friends started “Slovenia Tibet support group” NGO. He never declared himself as Buddhist practitioner, in fact he travels more to Arab and African countries…


Margi was once fisherman with her own boat… she likes jewelry and also draws. On January 1st 2020 she held her “first  2020 open exhibition” of some of her collections on the Helios hotel beach.


The “first three days of 2020 Hvar tracking team ” Ivana, Gregor, Petra (designer of MED Land logo)


Hvar island -view from Humac towards Sv Nikola 626m

island Hvar – or anywhere I move last days – my attention on emerging “more subtle organic new world” gives me another observation – beyond explanation-s


Sv.Nikola highest peak on Hvar island -626 m

Ivana Petan -ceramic artist is invoved, cooperate and support MED Land project from the beginig

Ivana Petan  ceramict artist -is supporting and creating MED Land project from the beginning

Ivana Petan -ceramic artist is invoved, cooperate and support MED Land project from the begining

Island Hvar is 72 km long and has meadows all along the island. Walking here feels like moving along the Dragon back.

Humac – island Hvar – was once a rich village

Humac – island Hvar – was once a rich village.

Jane: “We were staying on the top of island Hvar, in the vicinity of Sv. Nikola peak, for three month and now we are going back to village Dol…” Jane moved from London many years back and runs Yoga retreat place in village Dol – island Hvar.

view on island Vis from island Hvar

island Hvar – or anywhere I move last days – my attention on emerging “more subtle organic new world” gives me another observation – beyond explanation-s

3rd January 2020


Workshop with Marko Pogačnik on the island of Hvar

Exhibition “Barke” (Boats) by Ivana Petan-ceramics and BojanB-prints

Mala Mare, a farewell song

Easter in Pitve-Svirče-Stari Grad

Dance with Mary – exhibition/instalation

A trip to Borovik/workshop


I call this heaven

“I came home”

“Why not? All is possible”

Posted by bojanb
4 years ago


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6 years ago

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6 years ago





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