My journey to this book began far away from Lithuania.

Having taken photos and shot video of different lands day after day I have gathered a rather large pictures’ archive. Although, initially I had no such a will, little by little I started to think about finding a suitable form and sharing my small discoveries with other people. That was how the album “Tranquilia. The land of peace” came into the world. I put here 100 photos or, like I call them at times, “portraits of tranquillity”.

The album was accepted warmly, but I was constantly asked, why there was only one Lithuanian picture included here and if this meant that there was nothing to take pictures of in Lithuania. Then I gave thought, why I had made thousands of photos of faraway lands, and only one picture of Lithuania. I started to compare the views of Lithuania and the entire world in my mind.

And then I understood that Lithuanian landscape is impressive as much as the best-known and most-visited countries of the world. No, we have no snow-capped mountains, heat wheezing deserts, death breathing volcanoes or coral reefs coloured like in a children’s picture. But where else than in Lithuania could you see the mounds remembering heroic achievements, the narrow land thread between the lagoon and the sea, unique drawings of rivers’ meanders and lakes’ islands, the dunes washed by the restless sea, the villages nestling near the water, the impressive churches that look like ready to rise to space like rockets? Where can you see so many shades of the green colour?

However, many beautiful albums about Lithuania have already been published. I wanted to create something new, something unseen and unwitnessed. I was thinking, how I could originally show the beauty of Lithuania, and little by little I conceived that the best view would be achieved by taking photos flying in the air. I like aerial photography, by the first, due to possibility to grasp, to realize all the view, freely to choose the best angle, the distance and to reveal all the beauty of the object. After you rise to a height of just a few dozen meters, insignificant details disappear; the forms, the volumes and the space limits become clearly noticeable. Besides, I had also certain experience of such photo taking in Australia, Hawaii, Polynesian Islands, Namibia and New Zealand. I made up my mind to take photos of Lithuania from the air.

I decided to introduce all the most important and famous Lithuanian places, as well as places being visited more rarely, unknown or forgotten. I consulted geography and ethnology experts and made a detailed objects’ list. Nevertheless, I did not have a goal to reflect in detail all regions and districts centres. I flied almost over all Lithuania, but not all the towns were put into the album. Also, there is no snow here. For sure, impressive views can also be seen in winter or late autumn, but I wanted the album to be homogenous, that’s why I took pictures only during the colourful time of the year, from May till October. Somebody will necessarily accuse the album to be too beautiful, but is there something wrong in it? All over the world people tend to introduce their countries by presenting the most beautiful views. Australians are trying to demonstrate the best of Australia, Germans – Germany, and we – Lithuania.

Lithuanian landscape, which has been carved by ice fields, tramped by drifters and aggressors, injured by wars, formed and nurtured by many generations, is equal in all over the world. Especially when you look at it from above. Now, when I have already finished this book, I see many similarities to the most impressing places of the world when looking into Lithuania from slightly higher the ground. I will give some comparisons in further pages.

For the pictures to have an artistic value as well as a documentary one, short descriptions were written for every picture. One can say that I have captured a moment from the life of Lithuania. Time will pass, many things will change, but in this album Lithuania will always remain like it was in summer 2007.

Everybody finds his way to get to know one’s native country. In order to understand how wonderful Lithuania is, I had to travel around half the world. I’m proud to live in such a beautiful land and I would like to give this feeling to my countrymen, guests and all people in the world who maybe will decide to come to Lithuania and to see everything themselves after seeing this book.

I hope this album will be a good gift for people who love Lithuania. And if you wander to any faraway land of the world in your mind while looking into these photos, please do not forget this is really Lithuania. Unseen Lithuania.

Marius Jovaiša
 

„Everybody finds his way to get to know one’s native country.“