A selection from LensCUlture
I Reminisce and Cry for Life by Agnieska Rayss
These women are veterans of the Second World War in #Belarus. They are almost 90. The #war started for them in 1941 when they were 16-18. They were born in all parts of the Soviet Union. As a result of the fall of the #Soviet_Union they are all Belarussians now. Belarussian propaganda uses them as examples of good #patriots and citizens.
This project was inspired by Svetlana Alekseyevich’s book “War’s Unwomanly Face” (1985). All these women all different nationalities were fighting in #World_War_II for their homeland (the Soviet Union). The war was difficult for them. They were very young when the war had started (16-18) and they had to learn plenty of things that were necessary during the war. They were nurses, truck drivers, communications #workers, and they were #partisans (mostly those who lived in the country). Most of them went to the army as volunteers to defend their homeland. They had to fight and to share difficult living conditions with men soldiers.
They experienced hard times also when the war was over. They had to rebuilt their lives in a country ruined by the war. They often did not come back to their countries of birth, they stayed in Belarus where they happened to be when the war was finished.
They were not treated better than ordinary citizens. They were often treated as freaks or prostitutes because they were in the #army with men. Most of them wanted to marry someone and to have children – to behave as “normal women”.
Their stories deserve to be known. This is a work in progress.
Marginal Trades by Supranav Dash
Trades and professional practices have always been intertwined with the caste system in India. Each caste and its sub-sets would stereotype an individual and dictate their occupational practice.
Since the early 1800s, people were not allowed to deviate from their fixed #professions or they would be outlawed by society. At the time, social morals reflected ignorance and strong attachment to orthodox beliefs.
The tradition of professions and trades being passed down the line from father to son, continued for generations until recently when globalization and rapid socio-economic change resulted in the problem of enculturation and automation. At that point, many of the age-old practices faded out, while others are currently on their way to extinction. The modern Indian generation refuses to stick to their ancestral professions and trades; they have become more daring and try to switch to more lucrative business possibilities.
The abandonment of the traditional practices also result from insufficient incomes, a desire to escape the #caste #stereotypes, the constant neglect of the privileged classes of the society these people serve, and a government that is not open to social reforms.
Global trends are constantly changing. Therefore, in these frantic times, it’s very easy to forget our past, culture and traditions. I am not opposed to modernization, but at the same time, I want to slow things down and force one’s self to recognize and remember the beauty of these analog practices. As a photographer, I want to use my craft to pay respect to these tradesmen and bring them to light.
Rise and Fall of Apartheid expo
In the culmination of a tour that has included venues across the world, Rise and Fall of #Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life comes to South Africa. The exhibition offers an unprecedented and comprehensive historical overview of the pictorial response to Apartheid.
Apartheid transformed the modern political meaning of citizenship, inventing a wholly new society in fact and law. The result was a re-organization of civic, economic and political structures that penetrated even the most mundane aspects of social existence in #South_Africa. Institutions for housing, public amenities, transportation, education, tourism, religion and business were transformed for the sole purpose of denying and depriving #Africans, “coloreds” and Asians of their basic #civil_rights, a transformation that extended into the personal lives of every South African.
Based on more than six years of research, the exhibition examines the aesthetic power of the documentary form — from the photo essay to #reportage, social #documentary to #photojournalism and art — in recording, analyzing, articulating and confronting the legacy of Apartheid, including its impact on everyday life in South Africa today.
The exhibition argues that the rise of the Afrikaner National Party changed the pictorial perception of the country into a highly contested space based on the ideals of equality, democracy and civil rights. Photography was almost instantaneously alert to Apartheid, changing its own visual language from a purely anthropological tool into a social instrument. Because of this, no one else photographed South Africa’s liberation struggle better, more critically and incisively, with deep pictorial complexity and penetrating insight, than South African photographers. It is the goal of this exhibition to explore and pay tribute to their exceptional achievement.
Encompassing the entire East Wing of #Museum_Africa, Rise and Fall of Apartheid encompasses over 800 works by more than 70 photographers, artists and filmmakers. It features complex, vivid, evocative and dramatic visual productions that form part of modern South Africa’s historical record. The exhibition brings together a rich tapestry of materials that have rarely been shown together.