Anna Samarskaya, Antonina Stebur. “59/82. Belarusian Photography Open Data”, 06.09–06.10

“59/82. Belarusian Photography Open Data” is a part of a larger project dedicated to the study of the history of Belarusian photography, launched in late 2017.

The exhibition reflects the period from 1959 to 1982 which can be described as the times of amateur photo-club movement in Belarus. These dates have been chosen not accidentally: in 1959 the first post-war association of photographers was created – the section of photojournalists in the Union of Journalists of the BSSR, and in the 1981-1982s – a series of three major national photo festivals (“Photographica” in Minsk, “The World of a Contemporary Person”/“Mir Sovremennika” in Grodno and “Rainbow”/“Raduga” in Mogilev) was over. Thus, these two dates mark the way of the birth of the club movement, its development and flourishing, which after 1982 got replaced by other forms of photographers’ communication and joint activities, as well as the arrival of another photographic aesthetics.

Traditionally, this period in the history of photography is considered to be the most described and clear. However, the study of archival materials showed that the way of talking about the photography of those times, as a rule, was through “eyewitness testimony” – that is the memories of photographers who used to live and work then. Memories are an important part of the study of Belarusian photography, but they alone are not enough to document the whole range of events and names, oral stories risk leaving the focus exclusively on Minsk and minimizing the research distance.

Keeping in mind the fact that the most important form of photographic activity manifestation of  in the period from 1959 to 1982 was exhibition, the project “59/82. Belarusian Photography Open Data” works with the lists of participants of all major republican, international and inter-club shows in Belarus. The research resulted in the array of 411 names, in which 102 most active photographers could be identified. Apart from the infographics, the exhibition will feature a documentary chronicle of the main events of 1959-1982, as well as 10 photographs aimed at giving an idea of ​​how the medium was then understood.

The study allowed us to take a fresh look at the key participants of the photographic movement of Belarus in the middle of the last century, to revive and reveal a number of forgotten names, as well make visible the women’s names by demonstrating to the public their role in the world of photography traditionally perceived as male-dominated.

Curators of the project

Anna Samarskaya

Antonina Stebur

06.09 — 06.10
“Ў” Gallery

12:00 – 20:00, daily

06.09
Opening

“Ў” Gallery, 19:00