Viktorija Raggana is a self described, “photographer-witch” from Lithuania. Growing up surrounded by so much natural beauty has granted her the inspiration to take some truly incredible, bewitching photographs. As a kid Raggana would explore the woods and lush meadows near her home, taking in every last detail.
Raggana writes on BoredPanda, “All this natural habitat around me nurtured a wild imagination and the ability to see things deeper than the average human eye.” Her special insights grant her a unique vantage point from behind the lens of her camera. She sees each of her characters like a reflection of herself. “My work is not about the twinkle we see here and now. It’s like an optical illusion, invisible but felt as a moment.”
Check out Raggana’s bewitching photographs inspired by Lithuanian forests below.
Located on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, Lithuania is a beautiful country full of scenic hills, rivers, streams, lakes, and some of the most enchanting forests around the world. Approximately 77% of Lithuanian forests are naturally occurring, while the remaining percentage are planted.
As far back as ancient times the forests of Lithuania have held cultural significance. In fact, it is said that the forests are the nation’s true home, and a mysterious Lithuanian spirit hides out within the forest walls. There are many different stories, mysteries, and pieces of history that have unraveled here. Partner all of these tales with the scenic beauty and it’s easy to see how inspiration can be found.
In 1387 when the Christianization of Lithuania took place many old religious artifacts were destroyed, and only the monuments tucked away in discrete locations survived. Today, the regional park is said to contain a number of stones linked to old religious groups that resided here many years ago.
Most of these stones are near the Neris riverbed, and have a variety of different stories associated with them. One story in particular mentions the larger stones were once people turned into rock.
Another popular character in ancient Lithuanian fairytales and stories are grass snakes and slow worms, which make their home throughout the vast forests. Although these reptiles are non-venomous and 100% harmless, they are often mistaken for a danger and sadly killed.
Raggana says that her work always includes a special message, “A message to open our eyes and start creating images with all of our human senses.”
38% of Lithuanian forests are covered in pinewoods, and in the Neris Regional Park pinewoods make up 80% of the park. The Neris River flowing through the park holds symbolic and historical significance. During the 5th-10th centuries, burial customs took place along these riverbanks.
The gorgeous country has seen its share of troubles, including Nazi occupation during World War II and communist reign from 1944 to 1991. Perhaps all of the trials and tribulations that have taken place here make the country even more spectacular, filled with stories hauntingly tragic as well as stories full of hope and success.
33.5% of Lithuania is covered in forestland. Forests are considered the most important indigenous natural resource to the country. Prior to 1929, many people were owners of forest property but due to Soviet control, all forests became property of the State until 1991.
Today, over 200,000 people own a portion of a forest in Lithuania, although 450,000 people have presented the papers necessary to have their property rights reinstated.
On Raggana’s Facebook she writes, “All I have in life is my imagination.”
In January you can see Raggana’s bewitching photography inspired by Lithuanian forests on display at a private exhibition at Juozas Art Gallery in Vilnius, Lithuania.
What sorts of thoughts and feelings do these photos inspire within you?
Photo Credits: Facebook