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Faces of War exhibition of Croatian History Museum
By Nenad N. Bach and Darko Žubrinić | Published  12/13/2015 | History , Education | Unrated
An offer of cooperation with the Croatian History Museum


A man with a dog; fear during bursting concert of shelling and bombing.
Photographed by Pavao Urban (1968-1991) in Dubrovnik, during
the Serbian 1990-1995 aggression on Croatia.

 
Hrvatski povijesni muzej
Matoševa 9
10 000 Zagreb
Hrvatska

U Zagrebu, dana 12. kolovoza 2015.

POZIV NA SURADNJU – GOSTOVANJE IZLOŽBE

Poštovani,

ovim putem Vam se obraćamo s ponudom za ostvarivanje suradnje s Hrvatskim povijesnim muzejom, vezano uz gostovanje izložbe „Lica rata“ u Vašoj cijenjenoj instituciji / zemlji.

Povodom dvadesete obljetnice vojno redarstvene operacije Oluja, Dana pobjede i domovinske zahvalnosti te Dana hrvatskih branitelja 5. kolovoza, Hrvatski povijesni muzej, tijekom ljeta 2015. godine, priredio je izložbu hrvatske ratne fotografije pod nazivom „Lica rata“. Izloženim fotografijama obuhvaćen je vremenski period od 1990. do 1995. godine, te predstavljeni događaji iz razdoblja Domovinskog rata. Oko 200 fotografija u klasičnim foto-uvećanjima, i isto toliko u multimedijalnim prikazima, javnosti se predstavlja iz Zbirke fotografija i negativa HPM-a, srodnih institucija i privatnih zbirki ratnih fotografa.

Izložba nosi naziv „Lica rata“ jer su od tisuća pregledanih fotografija, lica djece, žena, staraca i vojnika ona koja najbolje svjedoče o sudbinama anonimnih, „običnih“ ljudi u ratu. Podijeljena je u  nekoliko cjelina: Početak, Branitelj, Civil, Oluja, Lica rata. Postavljena je u prostorima palače Hrvatskog povijesnog muzeja u Zagrebu, na cca 300 m˛. Izložba će biti otvorena do 13. rujna 2015.

Hrvatski povijesni muzej je 2011. godine po prvi puta organizirao i javnosti predstavio izložbu s temom Domovinskog rata, tijekom koje su stigli brojni upiti i zamolbe za gostovanjem. Nažalost zbog brojnih razloga, poput posuđene građe te radi organizacije i postava izložbe, nismo bili u mogućnosti ostvariti ponuđenu suradnju.

No, upravo na temelju iskustva te dojmova posjetitelja (koje su najviše zainteresirali predstavljena fotografija i dokumentarni snimci), odlučili smo povodom 20-te obljetnice oslobođenja većeg dijela hrvatskog teritorija organizirati izložbu ratne dokumentarne fotografije, i to na način da njen postav omogućuje gostovanje.

Ukoliko ste zainteresirani za ostvarivanje suradnje i gostovanje izložbe „Lica rata“ u Vašoj instituciji/zemlji ili imate dodatnih pitanja bit će nam izuzetno drago da nas kontaktirate putem navedene e-mail adrese: j.hotko@hismus.hr. Veselimo se mogućnosti suradnje, kako na ovom tako i na nekom od budućih izložbenih projekata.

S poštovanjem,

Nataša Mataušić, prof., v.d. ravnateljica

Ivica Nevešćanin, prof., viši kustos, autor izložbe

Jelena Hotko, prof., muzejska pedagoginja i PR

 
Hrvatski povijesni muzej  / Croatian History Museum
Matoševa 9
10000 Zagreb
Croatia

Zagreb, August 12th, 2015


CALL FOR COOPERATION ON THE EXHIBITION HOSTING PROJECT

Dear Sir / Madam, Colleague,

we are respectfully addresing you with an offer of cooperation with the Croatian History Museum related to the possibility of hosting the exhibition „Faces of War“ in your country / institution.

To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the decisive military and police action code-named Operation Storm, as well as Victory and National Thanksgiving Day and Croatian Veterans Day on August 5th, this summer the Croatian History Museum has organized an exhibition of Croatian war photography under the title “Faces of War.” The photographs encompass the period from 1991 to 1995, presenting events from Croatia’s Homeland War. The exhibition presents approximately 200 photographs in classical enlargements and the same number in multimedia formats from the Museum’s own Collection of Photographs, Films and Negatives, and from similar institutions and private collections of wartime photographers.

The exhibition is called “Faces of War” because out of the thousands of examined photographs, the faces of children, women, the elderly and soldiers are those which best testify to the fates of anonymous, “ordinary” people beset by the horrors of war. It is divided into several thematic units: Beginnings, Defender, Civilian, Storm, and Faces of War. The exhibition is put up in the palace of the Croatian History Museum, on approximately 300 m˛. The exhibition will be open until September 13th 2015.

The Croatian History Museum has organized and presented the exhibition on the subject of Homeland war for the first time in 2011. During that time numerous inquiries arrived with a proposal for the hosting of exhibition. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons like borrowed material and due to the organization and display of the ehhibition, we were not able to respond in the positive manner and realize offered cooperation.

Based on the experience and impressions of the visitors (who were mainly interested in displayed photography and documents), we have decided to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the liberation of the greater part of the Croatian territory with an exhibition of Croatian war photography, whose display enables hosting of the exhibition.

In case you are interested in realizing the cooperation and hosting of the exhibition “Faces of War” in your country / institution, or have additional questions, we will gladly answer them. Please contact us on the following e-mail address: j.hotko@hismus.hr. We are looking forward to the possibility of cooperation, either on this or on one of future exhibition projects.

Sincerely yours,

Nataša Mataušić, B.A., Acting Directress

Ivica Nevešćanin, B.A., Senior Curator, Author of the Exhibition

Jelena Hotko, B.A., Museum Educator and PR Officer




Legendary photo by Pavao Urban (1968-1991), at the moment of his tragic death
on the main street of Stradun in his native city of Dubrovnik.

Pavo Urban, August 1st, 1968. - December 6th, 1991, was killed with his photo camera in hands in 1991
during Serbian and Montenegrin shelling and bombing of the city of Dubrovnik.
Photo from pavourban.pondi.hr.

Croatian soldier







 
Lica rata

Povodom dvadesete obljetnice vojno redarstvene operacije Oluja, Dana pobjede i domovinske zahvalnosti te Dana hrvatskih branitelja 5. kolovoza, Hrvatski po- vijesni muzej, tijekom ljeta 2015. godine, priredio je izložbu hrvatske ratne foto- grafije pod nazivom „Lica rata“. Izloženim fotografijama obuhvaćen je period od 1991. do 1995. godine, te predstavljeni događaji iz razdoblja Domovinskog rata. Ovom izložbom, realiziranom uz potporu Ministarstva kulture RH i Grada Za- greba, nastavljen je višegodišnji rad na obradi teme Domovinskog rata. Oko 200 fotografija u klasičnim foto-uvećanjima i isto toliko u multimedijalnim prikazima, javnosti se predstavlja iz Zbirke fotografija, filmova i negativa HPM-a, srodnih institucija i privatnih zbirki ratnih fotografa.

Zašto izložba hrvatske ratne fotografije?

Tijekom rada na izložbi „Domovinski rat“ održanoj u Hrvatskom povijesnom muzeju 2011.-2012. godine, kustosi su usmjerili pozornost na pregled velikog broja fotografija iz Domovinskog rata. S obzirom na složenost povijesne teme, fotografi- ja je bila samo jedan od raznovrsnih muzejskih predmeta kojima se predstavilo to razdoblje suvremene hrvatske povijesti. Prikazana ratna fotografija izazva- la je najveći interes posjetitelja koji je ujedno i jedan od poticaja za priređivanje ovogodišnje izložbe hrvatske ratne fotografije.

Budući da u Hrvatskoj nažalost još uvijek ne postoji krovna institucija ili muzej koji prikuplja i brine se o fotografskoj baštini, pa tako i onoj iz Domovinskog rata, studiozan rad na ovoj temi već je u samom početku bio otežan. Iz tog je razloga najveći broj fotografija za ovu izložbu prikupljen i posuđen izravno od profesion- alnih ratnih fotografa i njihovih obitelji. Mnogi fotografi iskazali su želju i nadu da njihovi radovi, kako oni objavljeni tako i brojni zaboravljeni negativi i fotografije, jednom postanu, kao što i zaslužuju, dio povijesti i kulturne baštine ove zemlje. U Domovinskom ratu hrvatski su fotografi snimili stotine tisuća fotografija. Povijest i umjetnost upamtit će one posebno dobre, a dio kojih je zasigurno i na ovoj izložbi.

Izložene fotografije isključivo su djela hrvatskih fotografa, osobno uključenih u ratna zbivanja vlastitog naroda. Uz profesionalne fotografije, u ratu su nastale i brojne amaterske koje nisu zastupljene na izložbi. Fotografije s okupiranih dijelo- va Hrvatske, kao i fotografije nekih ključnih događaja Domovinskog rata (npr. tragedija Vukovara), na izložbi nisu prikazane jer su ih mogli snimiti samo strani i srpski ratni fotografi. Vjerodostojnost i objektivnost objavljenih fotografija, posebno onih objavljivanih tijekom rata, uvijek može biti dovedena u pitanje s obzirom na njenu manipulativnu i medijsko propagandnu ulogu.

Rat je hrvatske fotografe zatekao nespremne. Dok su neki snimali ratnu svakodnevnicu civilnog života, drugi su riskirali živote, postavši branitelji i ratni izvjestitelji. Nažalost, bilo je i onih koji su, poput Pava Urbana, poginuli s fotoaparatom u ruci pri tom stvorivši, u kratkom vremenu, jedinstven i izvanredan opus fotografija.

Istinito svjedočanstvo velikog dijela ovih fotografija i njihov značaj za hrvatsku prošlost i budućnost trebao bi jednog dana biti dostojno vrednovan, stoga ovogodišnjom izložbom ratnih fotografija, „Lica rata“ želimo ukazati na značajnu vrijednost fotografije kao povijesnog izvora, te time postaviti temelje budućim istraživanjima, izložbama i projektima.

Izložba nosi naziv „Lica rata“ jer su od tisuća pregledanih fotografija, lica djece, žena, staraca i vojnika ona koja najbolje svjedoče o sudbinama anonimnih, „običnih“ ljudi u strahotama rata.

Budući da ovo nije isključivo povijesna izložba, ona nema kronološki slijed već je podijeljena u nekoliko tematskih cjelina: Početak, Branitelj, Civil, Oluja, Lica rata. Naime, kada je riječ o ratnoj fotografiji, prilično je nezahvalan posao, nakon pregledavanja prikupljenog materijala, odabrati način na koji će se te fotografije izložiti i predstaviti javnosti.

Izložba je posvećena hrvatskim braniteljima, svim žrtvama rata, fotografima, kao i traumatiziranom hrvatskom društvu koje još uvijek prolazi svoju ratnu katarzu u svakodnevnom životu.

 
Faces of war

To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the decisive military and police action code- named Operation Storm, as well as Victory and National Thanksgiving Day and Croatian Veterans Day on the 5th of August, this summer the Croatian History Museum has organized an exhibition of Croatian war photography under the title “The Faces of War.” The photographs encompass the period from 1991 to 1995, presenting events from Croatia’s Homeland War. This exhibition, held with the support of the Croatian Ministry of Culture and the City of Zagreb, is a continuation of the Museum’s many years of efforts to cover the Homeland War. The exhibition presents approximately 200 photographs in classical enlargements and the same number in multimedia formats from the Museum’s own Collection of Photographs, Films and Negatives, and from similar institutions and the private collections of wartime photographers.

Why an exhibition of Croatian war photography?

During work on “The Homeland War” exhibition held in the Croatian History Museum in 2011-2012, the curators accorded particular attention to the high number of photographs that came out of the Homeland War. Given the complexity of this historical theme, photography was only one of the diverse museum fields used to present that period of contemporary Croatian history. The wartime photographs, however, aroused the greatest interest of visitors, and this served as the impetus for the organization of this year’s exhibition of Croatian war photography.

The unfortunate fact is that Croatia does not yet have an umbrella institution or museum that gathers and cares for the photographic heritage – including photographs from the Homeland War, so the already painstaking work on this theme was all the more arduous from the very start. This is why most of the photographs in this exhibition were collected and borrowed directly from professional wartime photographers and their families. Many photographers ex- pressed the desire, and hope, that their works, both those already published and those many forgotten photographs and negatives, would one day become – as they deserve – a part of Cro- atia’s history and cultural heritage. During the Homeland War, Croatian photographers shot hundreds of thousands of photographs. History and art will remember the particularly well- done exemplars, and some of them can certainly be seen in this exhibition.

The photographs on display are exclusively the works of Croatian photographers who were personally involved in the wartime events of their own people. Besides photographs taken by professionals, numerous amateurs also shot photographs during the war, although these are not presented in the exhibition. Photographs from the occupied parts of Croatia, as well as pho- tographs of certain key events during the Homeland War (such as the tragic fall of Vukovar) are similarly not on display in this exhibition because they could only have been taken by for- eign and Serbian war photographers. The reliability and objectivity of published photographs, particularly those released during the war, can always be questioned given their manipulative and media/propagandistic role.

Croatia was caught unprepared for the war. While some photographers recorded the everyday experience of civilian life, others risked their lives, becoming soldiers and war correspondents. Unfortunately, there were those who, like Pavo Urban, died with their cameras in their hands, although they still managed to create a unique and extraordinary body of photographs in a rather brief period.

The authentic testimony provided by so many of these photographs and their significance to Croatia’s past and future should one day receive the proper appreciation they deserve. So this year’s exhibition of war photography, “The Faces of War”, reflects our intention of highlighting the great value of photographs as a historical source, thereby laying the foundations for future research, exhibitions and projects.

The exhibition is called “The Faces of War” because out of the thousands of examined photo- graphs, the faces of children, women, the elderly and soldiers are those which best testify to the fates of anonymous, “ordinary” people beset by the horrors of war.

Since this is not an exclusively historical exhibition, it has no chronological sequence. It is rath- er divided into several thematic units: Beginnings, Defender, Civilian, Storm, and Faces of War. For in the case of war photography, after inspecting the totality of the gathered materials, it is a rather thankless task to select the manner in which the photographs will be exhibited and presented to the public.

The exhibition is dedicated to Croatia’s war veterans, its defenders, and to all casualties of war, to the photographers, and Croatian society as a whole, traumatized by war and still enduring its catharsis in everyday life.





The street of Stradun in Dubrovnik in 1991, one of the most beautiful streets worldwide, after Serbian and Montenegrin shelling and bombing.
Photo by Milo Kovač.


War photos by Pavao Urban, Dubrovnik 1991


Formated for CROWN by Darko Žubrinić
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