Adult Education and Development: What can a photo tell us about history?
Victor Hilitski: A photo cannot just tell something about history, it creates history, being a graphical reflection of the moment. The way people perceive a story depicted in a photo is similar to the way notes of the musical scale are played, revealing new shades of music with every new performance. Through a photo I deliver my own thoughts and beliefs, the intensity of people’s emotions and the symbolism of the inanimate environment. A powerful image that affects our hearts and senses is able to provoke critical thinking and a forward-looking attitude that enable people not only to contemplate history, but to be part of it.
What kind of understanding of Belarusian culture do I need to fully understand your photos?
It may not be so evident geographically, but Belarus is a large country with countless untold life stories, where quite often a unique person or place may surround you and you are absolutely unaware of that. Unfortunately, many young people today find copying the imposed Western values better than obtaining a deeper insight into their own historical heritage. Therefore initiatives of people who strive to maintain and promote our traditional culture are crucial. While creating these photos I tried to exclude any bar riers between the depicted characters and the audience to enable the viewer to become completely immersed in history.
Victor Hilitski was born in Minsk, Belarus, in 1985. He took up photography as a hobby when he was at the technical university. After graduating, he worked for two years as an engineer designer, during which time he attended many masterclasses, training courses and group exhibitions. He worked as a photographer in the US for three years, bringing to perfection his skills in shooting portraits, street life and nature. Since 2013 he has been working as a senior photo journalist at the largest daily newspaper in Belarus.
Within photography, his work focuses on film cameras and black and-white film. In 2014 he held a solo exhibition entitled “The last visit” in the Museum of Modern Fine Art in Minsk. This project also took first prize in the independent press photography contest “Belarus press photo 2013” (“Daily life” category).
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