Photo reporters among protesters in the streets and squares of Slovenian towns from November 2, 2012 to February 8, 2013
17 Jun 2014 at 20:00 – 5 Jul 2014
Photographers participating in the exhibition: Uroš Abram, Aleksander Baumkirher, Aleš Beno, Sašo Bizjak, Luka Cjuha, Matej Družnik, Jure Eržen, Jošt Franko, Miha Fras, Jaka Gasar, Luka Gorjup, Stanko Gruden, Irena Herak, Borut Krajnc, Tit Košir, Matej Leskovšek, Tomi Lombar, Borina Mišica, Igor Napast, Daniel Novakovič, Maj Pavček, Andrej Petelinšek, Tamino Petelinšek, Maja Pertič Gombač, Matej Povše, Matej Pušnik, Blaž Samec, Željko Stevanić, Tone Stojko, Roman Šipič, Igor Škafar, Nebojša Tejić, Marko Vanovšek, Bojan Velikonja, Voranc Vogel, Tomaž Zajelšnik, Matic Zorman, Šimen Zupančič
Selection of works: Jaka Gasar, Lilijana Stepančič, Bojan Velikonja, Voranc Vogel and Ženja Leiler
Concept: Lilijana Stepančič, The Coastal Galleries of Piran
Production: The Coastal Galleries of Piranand club Enooki
Exhibitions in 2013: March-April Gallery Meduza (The Coastal Galleries of Piran), Kopar; May-June Faculty of Social Sciences, Ljubljana; September-October Cultural and Information Centre of the European Youth Capital 2013 Maribor (ex Salon Rotovž), Maribor
Until then pretty quiet public life in Slovenia was disrupted in autumn of the year 2012, when the inhabitants of Maribor started mass gathering in squares and streets in protest against the corruption of city government. The demonstrations have spread to other cities of Slovenia and lasted for several months, until spring 2013. Slovenia has not witnessed such events since gaining its independence.
The protests was marked by widespread throughout Slovenia, massive scale, intensity, and sometimes violence, which has aroused great interest and attracted media attention, both classic and new media, including Facebook, Tweeter, etc.
(more on http://sl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protesti_v_Sloveniji)
Demonstrations can be divided into two groups. The first one includes protests in Maribor, arising autonomously as a spontaneous reaction to the arbitrariness of the population to the city government. It should be mentioned that in 2012 Maribor hosted the Cultural Capital of Europe and that most of the city’s cultural and artistic organizations were in disposal of much larger budgets than in previous years. Within the European Capital of Culture created numerous cultural and artistic events and actions of civil society.
The second group comprises the protests in other cities in Slovenia, which is believed to have been instigated by the major political parties who have exploited the discontent of the people and their solidarity with the demonstrators in Maribor for their own interests and purposes.
The media, which until then had only published photographs of mass demonstrations abroad, were faced with a similar video and photographic recordings from home. The interest in the events and their documentation was great to the point that some media houses have opened sub-sites on the initial pages of their websites, where they published recordings that would have been sent to them from the professional photo reporters, amateur photographers and people, participants of demonstrations.
Intense media coverage was specifically marked public media image, especially its visual part. The Coastal Galleries of Piran, in collaboration with the club of photo reporters Enooki responded to events by sending photo reporters invitation for participation in an exhibition that documented demonstrations in Slovenian towns. Invited photo reporters were an important factor in shaping of the public visual media image, because they have had direct access to the media, thus were primarily interesting as exhibitors.
38 photographers responded to the open call. From all entries, Jaka Gasar, Lilijana Stepančič, Bojan Velikonja, Voranc Vogel and Ženja Leiler have selected 141 photograph, and not a single author has been omitted.
The purpose of the exhibition was, among the countless photo reporters’ shots, to display those which may be inscribed in history as iconic images. This would stress the symbolic power of documentary reportage photography, which realistically and individually shot, would be changed into significant and universal. In that way, the photographic document transforms into the visual image, that is more than what is seen in real time by the eye and recognized by the mind. Nevertheless, the title of the exhibition supports originality of the image and of the reality as such, because it deliberately long, non-marketing and descriptive, briefly, more scientifically dry, than sales aimed sex appealing.
Ženja Lailer in the foreword to the exhibition, among other things writes: “Ever since the independence of Slovenia, the current demonstrations represent the Event that is not only supported by progressive massive scale and persistence of protesters, but to a large extent also the intensity of media coverage of the demonstrations. Although the media in this Story, perhaps from the first aflamed Maribor radars, are not “only” witnesses and commentators of the events, but before anything else, they became interpreters and actors – both in terms of pretentious engagement in announcing the events as committed reporting of the information to public, and in terms of their actions in arousing public awareness.
Current exhibition is far from being able to offer a definitive answer to the question: which images of actual demonstrations, will once in the future, eloquently speak of the past. In this sense, it is about the work in process. So, neither can the story of the exhibition, which had a task to articulate the photographs on display, can not be any different.”
Ženja Lailer in the foreword to the exhibition, among other things writes: “Ever since the independence of Slovenia, the current demonstrations represent the event that was not only supported by progressive massive scale and persistence of protesters, but to a large extent and the intensity of media coverage of the demonstrations. Although the media in this story, perhaps from the first burning of radar in Maribor, not “only” witnesses and comment the events, but became their interpreters and actors – both in terms of pretentious engagement announcements to inform the public about the protests as a committed “reporting” about them and in terms of their “awareness”.
Current exhibition is far from being able to offer a definitive answer to the question which image will the current demonstrations will once give us an eloquent story of the past. In this sense, it is evident work in progress. Equally, the story about the exhibition which had a task to articulate the photographs on display, can be no different. “