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‘Keepers’ is the name of a project realized by Luca Tomac, from Friends of the Earth Croatia together with Friends of the Earth Europe, portraying twenty-two Europeans’ environmental struggle and dedication. The project aims at highlighting the work of these individuals on a European level. The project has resulted in a book and exhibition, the latter currently being showcased in Brussels and is planed to travel around Europe the following year.
Luka has for the last year travelled across Europe to capture pictures and collect stories from twenty-two cases with individuals dedicating their time and life on certain environmental campaigns or preservation projects. Luka explains that the idea behind the project: “was to support campaigns and stories from the grassroots of the European environmental moments – to give them space and present them at the European level”. He highlights that: “we tried to present the problem, the solution and the people working with it”. The project resulted in a book and an exhibition that consists of all these individuals’ testimonies.
The name ‘Keepers’ symbolizes the local environmental defenders and those people whom dedicate part of their life trying to keep and protect species or communities. Luka explains that many of these people are working under quite difficult situations, and in some cases there were quite confrontational activates: “I would not say that those are the keepers only of the environment but also of the communities and defenders of human rights”. The book furthermore portrays positive examples, for example with individuals whom dedicate their life to certain species. He points to the example of Cyprus – where one couple managed to restore the habitat of the sea turtle and increase their population by three times in just a few years.
Luka says that the project also became a personal journey and out of the twenty-two cases one personally inspired him: “if I need to isolate one story, or one memory - that would definitely be the Norwegian case, the fjords and the community that lives in those fjords, which the mining company wants to completely ruin”.
To find out more what is happening in the case of the Norwegian fjords, read and listen to our interview with the ‘Keepers Anne-Line Thingnes Førsund, from Friends of the Earth Norway.
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