Adam Pańczuk, photo from "Studio Wisła" project, photo. Adam Pańczuk / press materials of the Copernicus Science Centre
At the invitation of FOTODOK, an organization which takes care of documentary photography in Utrecht's museum district, Sputnik Photos will display three exhibitions at FOTODOK's newly opened residence. The exhibitions are all based on topics related to Central-Eastern Europe, namely Stand By – devoted to Belarus, U – about Ukraine and Distant Place – about the Vistula River in Warsaw.
Stand by is a project by seven photographers who went to Belarus to see what was hidden behind the statement “the last dictatorship in Europe”. The compilation of material went on for two years starting in 2011. During this time the photographers tried to show day-to-day life in Belarus, since things that are seemingly unrelated from the world of politics and the Lukashenko regime are absent from foreign media reports. The authors of Stand By immersed themselves in daily life, talking about war and memory (Andrei Liankevich, Agnieszka Rayss), modern Belarusian heroes and the language of propaganda (Rafał Milach), the oldest forest in Europe (Jan Brykczyński), fashion (Adam Pańczuk) and women who want to marry a foreigner (Justyna Mielnikiewicz).
The U project was created from 2008 to 2009. It is a story about contemporary Ukraine - one of the most important countries on the geostrategic map of Europe. To gain a better understanding of Ukraine and what it means to be Ukrainian, photographers from Sputnik Photos travelled to the country and tried to capture its ethos. To deepen this process of discovery, Ukraine’s most talented young writers were asked to write a short essay or story on the theme of identity.
The project Distant Place created in 2012 by five photographers, is about the Vistula River in Warsaw. In the project, the authors tried to show how that “next to the city, the Vistula is something of a reserve, an unpenetrated enclave.” The project was created with the help of the Copernicus Science Centre. The photographers were Jan Brykczyński, Michał Łuczak, Rafał Milach, Adam Pańczuk and Agnieszka Rayss.
As part of the opening, on March 1st -2nd, Fotodok will hold meetings with Sputnik photographers, youth work-shops, and meetings with students and guided tours of the exhibitions by the authors.
Sputnik Photos is an international collective founded in 2006 by photographers and documentary filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe. Among the members of the group are winners of prestigious photo awards such as the World Press Photo and Pictures of the Year.
Source: fotodok.org, ed. NZ, translated: Katarzyna Maksimiuk, 28.02.2014