Performative Lomography and a Gipsy Soul…

February 4, 2008

You know, people usually associate lomography either to fancy wannabe very very cool persons (mostly working as copywriters at the marketing department in a big corporation) or perceive it with geeks who spent their free time cruising through flee markets or online auctions for some toy camera, with a very special sparkle in their eyes.

Well, I’m definitely not in the first category, but partly in the second. I’m not a geek… no chance for getting me into a social role, sorry… I’m just too passionate to that strange CLICK! when you pull down the trigger thinking what will come out later… cause, with plastic, you never know.

Oh, you absolutely know that thingz will turn out in a way to route your career more toward abstract photography.

Well, thanks to many creative people around the globe taking pictures with cheap plastic cameras can be used in a more prolific way.

Culture_on_Tour 1 (c)

As a member of the passionate Lomo-community I was deeply touched last year when I’ve found at the portal, which is hosted by the Lomographic Society in Vienna, a project called Culture_on_Tour. The project was initiated by the local art community in Novi Sad (Serbia) and supported by the Austrian Organization Lighthouse Centre.Culture_on_Tour has involved together Roma and non-Roma groups of teenagers and young people; youth marked as minorities: Hungarian, Slovak, Czech, Romanian, Ruthenian, Croatian, German; and Serbian high school pupils as a majority. They worked together for several weeks taking pictures with lomo-cams, sharing and discussing serius problems from completely different points of view.

Amazing… because, these young people of totally different destinies ordinarily would never meet in their lives, but a small plastic crappy camera joint them together… at least, only for five weeks…

Of course, this idea is definitely not a NEW thing at the art / educational horizont… many profesional photographers use it for decades as a part of educational or rehab programmes when working with juniors, seniors, convicts, addicts etc… just name it …

Culture_on_Tour 2 (c)

But what took me closer to that particular project was this performative aspect which could be seen at the photos taken in the Roma village… cause, every Roma is a performer itself… Roma could be sad and happy at the same time… Only Roma women can work completely concentrated and focused surrounded at the same time by a bunch of kids… When you look into the eyes of a Roma kid you can see that there is also another world from the other side… a significant one that we definitely lost during our so-called advanced journey through the centuries…Look what the organizer has wrote about it after the first workshop was over…

“From the very beginning they have shown huge interest in our kind of work and they were feeling ready to approach our workshops. It is right there that their creative spirits are bring tickled to start producing some of the most amazing results.

We started by organizing thematic discussions in which we bring up the problems of everyday life and challenges these young people are facing at home, in school and in their families. Topics such as poverty, surviving on day-to-day basis, lack of primary education, early marriages are problems Roma youth are faced with every day. On the other hand non-Roma children are coming from different surroundings where these issues are approached in a different way. Two opposite worlds put together in the same room to learn and work together, to get to know and understand each other better.

Culture_on_tour 3 (c)

In our first discussion we realised that although some of the Roma youth are not going to school anymore and are unable to read or write, are very much aware of their situation and wish to be treated equally. They are craving for knowledge and new experiences, a fact that puts them on the same level with all other young people of Novi Sad.”… and check out the gallery of the Culture_on_Tour project.