The communism era is marked by surprising amnesia. Even though we can still feel the breath of the days before the political transformation of the post-Soviet countries of the last 28 years, we are reluctant to admit this. Moreover, we consider this as some shameful family secret. But it is true that, as in the case of every era, post-communist modern times need a reference point in order to be defined.
In the post-Soviet part of Europe, the real socialism works as the above mentioned reference point. Its reality feels constantly present in political, sociological and philosophical discourse, but we rarely admit its presence in our daily life, despite the fact that it is noticeable everywhere. Its traces remain perceptible; tangible not only through the Palace of Culture and Science discreetly overshadowed by modern constructions in the very centre of Warsaw. It is worth looking for those traces everywhere as without them the image of our contemporary reality will remain incomplete and difficult to comprehend.
The Open Programme of the 2017 Warsaw Photo Days will attempt to take a closer look at the mentality and culture of the post-Soviet countries both in the past and the present. Although it has been years since Polish perception turned from east to west, one cannot deny that totalitarian communist system – in its material and spiritual entirety – has profoundly influenced modern generations. This is undoubtedly one of the sources of the hybridity of contemporary culture, torn between the past (Homo Sovieticus) and the present (Post Sovieticus) – built as contradiction of what is seemingly long past.
The traces of the past (to be found in people and places today) are an interesting field for authoring the subject, but also to remind the viewers of important historical photographs illustrating the shape of the past world.
They are also what should inspire younger generations – as an aspect often pushed into oblivion, yet one which contributes to modern consciousness, a specific synthesis of the memory of the past and the image of the present.
The 2017 Warsaw Photo Days Open Call for photographic and multimedia projects discussing the POST SOVIETICUS topic lasts until October 30, 2017 (11.59 PM CET).
More info @ www.warsawphotodays.com
Warsaw Photo Days
@ Warsaw (Poland)
November 17 – December 15, 2017
The 2017 Warsaw Photo Days is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.