Jost Franko: Shepherds

Jost Franko is a documentary photographer born in Slovenia in 1993. His work is mostly focused on long-term projects exploring domestic and international social issues, and his themes often touch on the loss of traditional values in the modern world.

Slovenia –  The shepherd community that has existed for more than 500 years on Velika planina in Slovenia is a disappearing tradition. The settlement is located only an hour drive from the capital city, but there, at 1600 meters above sea level, the everyday life begins at dawn and finishes at sundown. Around 20 families move to the mountains during the summer months to avoid buying fodder for their cattle in the valley. This way of life has remained more or less the same for the last couple of hundred years but will most likely disappear within a generation when modernization will hit even the most remote parts of Slovenia. In four years of documenting the community, 3 families have stopped goading the cattle to the mountains and are not living on the mountains during the season anymore. The culture and community is literally disappearing in front of our eyes. In the current economic situation, most shepherds cannot survive only on farming, so they do other jobs in the valley during weekdays. The settlement is therefore mostly occupied by older members of the families and their grandchildren, who spend their summer vacations helping them.   Written & Photographed by – Jost Franko 

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