National Geographic awarded the Croatian edition of the magazine with the “Best Edit” prize for its photo essay feature about Vir Island.
The photo-essay feature about the island of Vir, released this month (September) in the Croatian edition of National Geography, was rated as the “Best Edit” by the central editor of this world-renowned magazine in Washington out of 37 international editions, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on September 30, 2017.
The authors of the awarded article are Kažimir Škrbić, one of the best, experienced journalists and Stipe Surać, one of the best, experienced photojournalists. Although they have known each other for 20 years, ever since their first steps in journalism, they have never worked together, until now. Škrbić, who was born in Šibenik, but lives and works in Vir and Zadar (and identifies himself as Zadran), and Surać, the master of the reportage photography from Zadar, have finally combined their forces and did what they do best in September issue of Croatian publication of world-renowned National Geographic magazine, named “Intriguing Island of Vir”.
The island, known in Croatia for the illegal construction, has been presented in a completely new and different light, exposing all that is unknown, unpublished and unexplored. With a beautifully crafted text with somewhat lyrical descriptions and stunning photographs of never-before-seen scenes and moments, the reader gets acquainted with the intact landscape and true nature of the Vir island, one that, despite the demographic boom and record numbers of tourists and overnight stays, is still made up of 80 percent of unspoilt nature.
Photo: Virski List Facebook
“This story means a lot to me because it speaks about the transformation of this island. Throughout the history of Vir island, there have been many people leaving and moving away, but recently things have changed, and people have started coming again. The demographic process has changed completely. This has become extremely noticeable over the past 30 years, when there were around 900 people living on the island, while today the island has around 4-5 thousand inhabitants. During summer tourist season, this figure goes up to 70 thousand. Vir used to be a small unknown place, whereas today it is among the top 10 Croatian destinations,” explains author Škrbić.
The main actors of the story are fishermen Branko and Veseljko, shepherd Tihomir and restaurant owners with whom Škrbić and Surać spent their days with in order to better illustrate the intriguing story of Vir island.
“Vir is interesting because it has a bad reputation but achieves record numbers of overnight stays. Specifically, images and reports of large tourists numbers and crowds attract an even greater number of people. But, we did not just report about the beaches, we have walked through hills and explored hidden coves that are completely unknown and wild,” says Stipe Surać.
“Vir is a progressive place. and his progress can be tracked and seen with the naked eye.This is what is most fascinating about the island.Water supply, lighting, asphalt, bicycle paths. That huge change has taken place some 15 years ago. Communal and infrastructure projects are increasing, and the inflow of people to Vir brings a new momentum of culture and customs into which it becomes urban, urban environment. Once an unknown island, today Vir is known by all,” adds Škrbić.
The island’s image of a place where the only thing that grows are illegally built houses, is slowly changing, even more so with this interesting piece done by Kažimir Škrbić and Stipe Surać. Well done, guys!
Excerpts translated from Slobodna Dalmacija