Sailing on a sailboat, we tour the lighthouses of the eastern coast of the Adriatic, and record and describe the phenomenon of Adriatic lighthouses with written, photo and film material.
Lighthouses of the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic lighthouses have unfairly been neglected in the professional exploration of their historical role, along with the people who are responsible for the fact that they still exist today. The reason lies in the military-strategic significance of the buildings, where for more than a century, civilians (with the exception of the lighthouse keeper’s family) weren’t allowed access, and most of the archival material for their planning and construction is located in Vienna and Trieste. The impressive architecture of the lighthouse buildings are monuments, and part of both Croatian and European cultural heritage because they share a joint past and interest in protecting the sea ways towards Central European land. The lighthouse keeper profession is dying out, and with it the consciousness of the nobility of light and the safety that still gives hope to sailors today, especially in stormy nights.
What we do
Sailing on a sailboat, we tour the lighthouses of the eastern coast of the Adriatic, and record and describe the phenomenon of Adriatic lighthouses with written, photo and film material, with the aim of making a high-quality book (monograph) and a documentary film. With the collected material and its processing and production of the book and film, we want to present:
- The fascinating organizational and building contribution made by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which designed and built 48 lighthouses in the 19th and 20th century, each of which presents an architectural and ambient all world of its own, and together they make up a well-thought out sailing route on the rugged east coast of the Adriatic Sea. The planning of their construction depended on the heritage of the ancient sailing route, whose neglected historical heritage can be found near today’s lighthouses, which were built centuries later.
- In exploring the lighthouses, we also research the lighthouse keepers, and their lives at the light. From afar, the lives of lighthouse keepers and their families seems romantic, but it also has its complex sociological story. We believe that the story of Croatian lighthouses and the anonymous people, who save the lives of others as part of their profession, shouldn’t be neglected, and simply must be told.
PHASE 1: Touring lighthouses (started in 2013 – completion in 2015)
With the nautical support and organization of the Academia Navalis Adriatica (ANA) school for sailing knowledge and skills, we visit the lighthouses on a sailboat. We decided to take artistic photos and films to show the strong and occasionally dramatic clips to emphasize the distance and isolation of lighthouse life, but also the immense relief and joy of their discovery. That is why we chose winter or early spring for most of our trips. The sailboat, where all crew members (including the cameramen and writers) participate in sailing and share duties at the wheel, sails, or in the galley, increases the success of the trip and makes it authentic and inspirational. Thanks to the support and kindness of Plovput, we were able to dock at the lighthouse locations, where the lighthouse keepers greeted and hosted us. Their experiences, which we recorded at the time are a valuable part of our project.
PHASE 2: Book production (2015)
The elements that make up the book are artistic photographs, a short travel story to depict the sailing and the exploration of the lighthouses, and lyric motifs that describe the life of lighthouse keepers. We plan on publishing the book in Croatia, English, and German with a total of 160 to 200 pages, on high-quality paper and bound in hard-back.
PHASE 3: Film production (2016)
We plan on producing a documentary film in the minimum duration of 45 minutes, which will show the drama of sailing and life in lighthouses. The film will be presented at documentary film festivals, and independent distribution is planned.