Hover over the image for navigation and full screen controls
ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT
Is the story over or are we still in the middle of it somewhere? Is it the country itself? Is it Belarus that makes reality and fiction seem to be layered like transparencies? The pictures of Andrei Liankevich seem to suggest that at least. For example, when a lonely Communist marches across a foggy square. Or when a soldier poses in a comfortable armchair among his trophies: the naked antlers on the wall and the no-less trophy-like twin sons held tenderly and creepily on his lap – Nestor and Pollux? Remus and Romulus? Cain and Abel? If they are supposed to stand for a dually new beginning, this might take place once again within that historical cliché that has helped give Belarus its sense of unreality. History has certainly provided plenty of signs.
No other region in Europe suffered as much during the Second World War as Belarus: the bourgeois intelligentsia were practically wiped out, the number of war victims was the highest relative to the total population, and the infrastructure was destroyed. Later the country was the remotely controlled ally of the old Communist powers, and the same clique is still in power today. And yet the very fact that Liankevich can depict the somnambulistic conditions of his country the way he does is proof that there is a young generation of Belarusians whose creativity is in the service of change. Fantastic elements of an unattainable dreamland and a caricatural focus on pseudo-Soviet deco-propaganda à la Lukashenko provide a backdrop against which innovation has been going on for a long time.
Born in 1981, Belarusian photographer, born in Grodno and based in Minsk (Belarus). Andrei obtained his BA in Economics from Belarusian State University. In 2004-2005 he studied at the Caucasus Media Institute in Yerevan, Armenia. As a part of the programme, he spent few months living and travelling with Yazidi minority in Armenia, and his final photo project about Yazidi’s life, got award from the World Press Photo seminar. In September 2007 Andrei was invited to take part in Focus on Monferrato master class project in Tuscany (Italy). In June 2008 he participated in programme supported by French Association Pour l’Instant, shooting a photo story on “Modern family institutions”.
Andrei tought a course on Photojournalism at the European Humanity University, Belarusian University, in Vilnius (Lithuania). Since 2005 he cooperates with European Press Photo Agency (EPA) and in 2007 he joined Anzenberger agency. Andrei has worked with Nasha Niva, one of the few independent Belarusian newspapers during 2001-2008. His works are also published in such international medias as New York Times, Le Figaro, Newsweek, Die Zeit, Spiegel, GEO, GEO Lino, International Herald Tribune.
He has presented his works in more than 30 exhibitions in Europe and USA. In 2008 catalog of Andrei’s photographs was published. Later this year Andrei’s photos were included in “EAST” photo book and “Break Lines. Touch Points.” -photo book with photo story “Unknown Country”, publisher: “Reporters without Borders” organization. And “This day of Change” photo book having 132 photographs of the project, published in Japan.
In 2009 Andrei won a prize at the Humanity Photo Awards 2009 with his work about “Pagan traditions in Belarus”, and was among finalists of “Magnum Expression Award”.
Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..
Many thanks… david alan harvey