I have always had a deep respect for people who live in connection with nature. In their lives, nature has a deeper meaning than relationships with people around them. The sea and the forest are greater than anyone and for them, it is more than just a means of subsistence, more than survival. It is their life-long companion that dictates their lives.
I returned to the village where I spent my childhood summers, to try to remember how it used to be. To find the images of the men who loved nature more than people. The men that are surrounded by endless frozen forests and seas seemingly quiet, but yet so dangerous. These old men are like the nature around them- quiet, sometimes harsh, introvert. But once you get to know them they open up.
During winter, this small village is deserted, with few people living there. It gets dark early, around 4pm. The streets are empty, houses are dark and snowed in, just a few dozen windows with the lights on. There aren’t many job opportunities, so young people and children are moving to bigger cities or countries, leaving the old ones to look after themselves. Only the ones who don’t know any other way stay – they don’t know what to do in the city, how to act, which rules to follow.
This old lifestyle is dying out because there is no one who is willing to continue living this simple. We are losing our connection with nature. Already young children don’t have the understanding of where the milk, eggs, meat come from. They see it packed as a product.
I was looking for the time lost; the time, which, it seems, the locals have never forgotten, but we might soon forget. A place that is magical, mystical and between nowadays and past. They still live in that time – slow, quiet and peaceful.
Karlis Bergs (b. 1990) is a Latvian photographer. He has studied photography at Andrejs Grants masterclass and the ISSP School. After that, he spent a year studying in The school of art institute of Chicago and then transferred to Brighton University, UK for his BFA (expected in 2016). Karlis is interested in the relationship that humans have with nature, how nature that surrounds us, affect us. Fascinated by “magical realism” and the unknown and sometimes unexplainable part of the world.