© Dario Dunaj

A view from Croatia: Dario Dunaj

Photographs of abandoned spaces, alien objects, man's footprint and the reclaim of nature

Written by
Marc Rowlands

'I have regular job that pays the bills, but my photography is quickly catching up in importance,' says Zagreb-based photographer Dario Dunaj, who is sometimes a fashion photographer, but also a part of the Krenimo collective who document abandoned spaces. 'Sometimes you need to run as fast as you can, because not all the places or rooftops are legal. But that's part of the deal. I would say that skateboarding videos and photos educated me most when I was younger. And for sure they shaped the way I observe the world around me.'

'What inspires me most to take photos? Life itself and how some situations, despite how small they seem, can have a big impact on you. Situations and human emotions; how people hold themselves and deal with their inner worlds. That is really interesting to observe.'

'Abandoned places make you wonder who was there before you, and what was the energy inside the space when it was alive. You can almost feel like an archaeologist when you're digging through somebody else's past like that, even if it's just in the building itself. By pure instinct you can sometimes just feel some situation, and then your eye or your camera will capture it forever.'

'My personal beliefs about photography as a medium is that it helps us express our view of our surroundings. It works as a perfect bridge between the past and future because, as a moment, motive actually only exists in the now.'

'Most of the best photographs I took turned out to be those weird little moment that you don't plan. That's why I believe you don't actually look for the photo, its the other way around. The photo usually finds you.'

'Krenimo (Let's go) is a group that arose spontaneously, because a few of us liked the same things; abandoned places and urban exploration. We were all doing that and taking photos, so why not make a group of it? Little by little we started to post online and write about it so other people could see it, access it and learn the history of some of the things around them. A lot of people write to us, or even suggest some places we should go and visit. We like that interaction with our audience. It proves the point that all those places that seem dead in society, actually live in the minds of many people; some who like to wander in their minds, and others, like us, who like to be physically present there.'

RECOMMENDED: See the work of other Croatian photographers from this feature series

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