We study the impact of history in today’s society. WW2 is the most devastating conflict in modern history. It is far from us and yet not so much, for our grandparents remember it and tell us about its atrocities. Some of them fought the war and some of them lived through it even though they were still young. Younger generations oncly experience it from echoes of how our world was wounded and how their ancesters heroically fought. Today we celebrate the 9th of May* as the day when humanity got a second chance of freedom from the fascist and we thank those who made it possible, as well as those who fell to make it possible. This is the reason why we are so attached to this very event of history. Because throughout a war memory we can see humanity. We want to capture tears, pride, glory, sadness, love and so many other feelings in those who commemorate this day. We want to capture instants, gestures, which bear witness that memory is what keeps us together, what helps us move forward, what makes us the people we are today.
USSR was the country that lost around 27 million soldiers and civilians in this war. Mothers lost their son and daughters, wives lost their husbands. The 9 May in modern Russia bears a great significance, as the victory in the Great Patriotic War is one of the founding myths of the post-war Soviet Union. But to what extent does the modern Russian, and in this particular case moscovite, society follow the official rhetoric? What are the inside stories? How do they spend this very particular day? This photo report will try to answer to all these questions, with an exhibit in Paris as its result, along with the production of a catalogue.
Using the tools of another time to capture the elements of the past in the present. A point of view, new, by its approach instead of its technique. We are using an old but preserved stock of films - catching up with the past, looking for its traces within the present, capturing the moments of our time which are inevitably anchored to the past, yet streaming into the future - this very specific relationship of every individual in a society to its history is what defines us as a whole and this has very often been subject to manipulation by various political constructs. We will document the trip by instant pictures, analog and digital photography, video footage and drawings to share with you moments from this to-be-amazing artistic and human journey.
Both of us are connected with architecture and photography and we have been interested in the study of collective memory. The project which led to ths one was the study of Ex-Yougoslavian monuments to commemorate the Second World war. It started with a trip to Bosnia and Serbia to photograph the monuments or ruins of the monuments of today. We discovered their stunning architectural and sculptural value as modernist “chef d’oeuvres”. Aswell as their interesting geographic placement in battlefields that today are vast fields, forests or villages. Some of them were embraced by nature, some of them were well kept and some of them were just ruins, but each one of them expressed surffering and pride in the finest sculptural and artistic way we would have ever imagined. Unlike the ex-Yugoslavia monuments study, which encompasses a vast territory and a very wide stretch of time (1945-1991), the point is to perceive the relationship of the society and its political construct towards its own history through a one day commemoration and celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Victory over fascism.