The exhibition entitled Lessons from ’91 has gathered for the first time in this quantity at one single location photographers from the entire region and a few international guests in order to depict war years in the area of the former Yugoslavia. Without pretending to be a universal historical depiction of the war or to offer answers to unanswerable questions, the exhibition represents war photographers’ perspective on the reality they witnessed during their visits to the political and real battlegrounds from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to Serbia, Kosovo and FYR Macedonia. These photographs played an important role during the war itself, shaping not only the public opinion in all war struck countries, but also the opinion of the international public. Today they are even more important to us as foundations of the collective memory, as sometimes undesirable traces of a bygone, but still very painful history. The photographer’s gaze is never neutral, although documentary photography tends to be presented as an objective and realistic image of the world, the single possible representation of the given reality. Photographs never possess one single meaning; it is necessary to decode their multiple layers in the light of the circumstances in which they were created, the impression they might have made at the moment of their publication, the photographer’s motivation, worldview and ethics, and finally, considering the present view of depicted events. Croatian and regional photographers, unlike international photography professionals, most frequently had the possibility to cover war from only one, respectively “their own” side; in that kind of a situation it is immensely difficult to shut down your own emotions and sense of belonging and patriotism. Although all photographers constantly emphasize the fact that they were doing their job professionally and objectively, the media were often subjecting the photographs to their own political agendas and placing them in appropriate contexts according to contemporary political needs; applying the same principle today on the occasion of important anniversaries. This exhibition presents photographs created on all conflicted sides, originally captioned by their authors, without the intention of using them as a means for any particular purpose. To this day, all these photographs carry a strong emotional charge, and their authors return to them with torment, reliving their own war nightmares.

Authors:Darko Bandić, Nina Berman, Matko Biljak, Renato BranÄ‘olica, Miloš Cvetković, Tom Dubravec, Amel Emrić, Željko Gašparović, Zijah Gafić, Velija Hasanbegović, Toni Hnojčik, Filip Horvat, Romeo Ibrišević, Srđan Ilić, Zoran Jovanović Mašak, Milomir Kovačević Strašni, Borut Krajnc, Saša Kralj, Rikard Larma, Paul Lowe, Anthony Loyd, Antun Maračić, Simon Norfolk, Nebojša Radosavljević Raus, Željko Sinobad, Tone Stojko, Srđan SulejmanovićSuki, Imre Szabo, Pavo Urban, Davor Višnjić, Božidar Vukičević, Dragoljub Zamurović

Curator: Sandra Vitaljić

Artistic display: Nina Bašun and Roberta Bratović/ Oaza
Production: Organ Vida 2016

Duration: 24.9.2016
Location: Galerija “Zvonimir”

Opening: 26.9.2016
Duration: 11.10.2016
Location: Galerija EPEKA, Galerija K18, Fotografski muzej Maribor

Opening: 28.2.2017
Duration: 26.3.2017
Location: Muzej Jugoslavije

Opening: 4.4.2017
Duration: 22.4.2017
Location: BOX Freiraum