The 12th International Land Art Festival Slama – Bilje, Osijek

Total Croatia News

All images: Deane Thomas/Slama/Facebook

The Slama Land Art Festival is an annual event organised by Nikola Faller, who has a passion for raising consciousness and expression through art.

Unfortunately, the random weather we experienced over the weekend delayed the Slama Festival until Tuesday evening, but what a spectacular event it was last evening. In the expanse of Baranja, a group of some 500 or more like minded individuals gathered to encounter a magical performance.

The theme for this year’s festival was the Zodiac – a reminder to us all how we have relied on the planets and stars since we began to roam the planet. As nomads, we relied on our instincts and intuition to navigate through life and the planet. This perhaps is something we ignore these days, with the introduction of technology to distract us.

Nikola Faller has a deep connection with Mother Earth, and through his work of creating sculptures from straw, he has a unique following. His work is often seen at festivals around Baranja, and last nights presentation was no exception to the skills of him and his team. Each zodiac sign was represented with a hand-made sculpture or figure, the centre piece being some 6 metres tall.

As dusk fell, the crowds arrived, where they were greeted with an incredible energy of fun, laughter, and music. Interestingly the age span of the visitors ranged from young teenagers through to our more senior citizens. There was an atmosphere of awe, as the performers, began to take their positions in the Zodiac ring. Performers came from Osijek Academy of Performing Arts, Shine Dance Studio along with Igor Valerija, Jasne Komendanović, and Tamara Šarlija.

Mother Nature And The Four Elements.

Through out the performance, we were reminded of the four elements of Mother Nature, Air, Earth, Fire and Water, and how these play an integral role on our planet. As the elements passed each of the signs of the Zodiac, the audience was reminded of a sign of the zodiac. The essence of each sign is part of our uniqueness and does affect the way we live. It is the challenge for mankind to embrace the essence and transcend it.

”I knew the theme of this event 2 years ago” Nikola comments, ”as with every festival I organise, each year represents a number. This being the 12th year of our manifestations. 12 represents the signs of the zodiac and how we as humans interact with them on a daily basis.”

The number of younger people wishing to volunteer and participate in the event is an indication that many of the youth are willing to think outside of the box for direction. The long standing tests for astrology, date back as far as the Egyptians and the Mayans. Many cultures adopt some form of burning ritual as part of a passing from the old to the new and view this as an important gesture to the Universe.

Nikola goes on with his vision ”The idea of the Slama Land Art Festivals is to bring people in touch with nature and the elements. Today, many are losing that essential connection with nature, and falling victim to social norms,” He is an ambassador in bringing people closer to Mother Nature in a real way, and empowering others to shift their consciousness.

Last nights festival was marked with the final burning of the ”Cosmic Machine”, which symbolised the ending of a chapter in time, and the beginning of a new one. Nikola was happy with the new site for this years event, despite the short notice in finding the perfect place. It was reminiscent of a visit to Stonehenge, surrounded with a plain of open fields, and a clear night sky.


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