Volha Savich
PRAFOTA 2020 Art Photography Short-list
I discovered this small old suitcase filled with pieces of multiple ripped photos in a landfill in Minsk, Belarus. My first wish was to put the pieces together, restore the photos and get a grasp of the story behind them. However, there was one thing I realised while piecing together the photos one by one: there were photos I successfully restored — but none of them would communicate a single message to me. I cannot have any personal feelings related to these photographs, since I have no experiences which I could associate with them. I have no idea why they were thrown away — and it is clear that these photographs have lost both their owners and the history behind them. In my collages, I used materials found in Minsk, where I live. Minsk has a complicated attitude toward the issue of preserving cultural memory. Time has always been doing its best to erase one face of the city and replace it with yet another one, and, by doing so, to change it beyond recognition. I believed that the old wallpaper, notebooks and other things I found in the streets were also part of the city’s history — a very intimate history, which is not described in school books. So, I used the objects and fragments of photographs I had discovered to compile what may be described as the city’s family album. Created using the collage technique, the album is made up of fragments of other people’s being — nonetheless, every single fragment has a new story now.
Short-list 2020: