Reports

In 2019, the Fotograf Festival entitled “Archeology of Euphoria” presented exhibitions, accompanying educational programs and discussions dedicated to the transformation of society from totalitarian regime to capitalism. As every year, the festival focused on the specifics of photography and reproducible images as such, through the work of both foreign and local authors.
Although the contemporary Central Europe is undoubtedly experiencing the most idyllic period of its modern existence, the growing political and social problems of recent years, which often radically question the evolution of the last three decades, are increasingly returning us to the question of the anchoring and legitimacy of contemporary neoliberal society. An inconspicuous but essential part of today is a constant struggle for the image and logic of our past.
At the end of 1989, totalitarian regimes had fallen throughout the entire “Eastern Bloc”, which radically predestinated the development of further decades.  However, the prevailing bipolar view of these political changes often simplifies the whole situation. With today‘s sufficient distance, it is possible to look at the issue of political and social changes not by the perspective of the turning point, but rather with the prospect of “melting” or “transition”.
The issue of the legitimacy and fundamentals of our democratic past, is, of course, related also to the question of the credibility of photography, mass media and propaganda and their influence on forming the social awareness and ethos of the times. The latest decades of the 20th century represent a time that has completed and subsequently problematized the domination of photography as a modern mass medium.The disintegration of the hierarchical and regulated distribution of media and information, which was being disturbed by the then “new media” (video, xerox, computers), gradually accessible to the wider public, contributed significantly to breaking the hegemony of central power.

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