Siarhei Brushko
Belarussian photojournalist
Sergei (or Siarhei) Brushko Belarusian photographer (1958–2000). Known particularly for his documentary photography work in the 1990s, utilizing the Cartier-Bressonian style of street photography. Worked as a reporter for "Chyrvonaya Zmiena" and "Narodnaya Gazieta" daily newspapers. Photography exhibited in Belarus, Germany, Switzerland.

Sergei Brushko was born on May 28, 1958 in the village of Gorodeya, near the town of Niasvizh, Minsk region. He received his first camera at age of 6 for his birthday. Since then, his whole life was connected with photography. In his youth, Sergei Brushko was moonlighting shooting village celebrations and weddings; the money which he was paid was spent to buy chemicals for his passion of photography and rare magazines "Czech Foto" during his trips to Lithuania. After leaving school with a golden medal, he decided to enroll at the Geography Department of Belarusian State University, but failed the entrance exams not having gained enough points for admission to the Faculty. And here fate once again brought him back to photography when, after serving in the army, he entered a vocational school in Molodechno to become a photography technologist, being later directed to work as a studio photographer in Soligorsk. However, he immediately tried to find a more free and challenging work and was noticed as a freelance photographer, first in a local regional newspaper, and then in the national newspaper "Chyrvonaya Zmena". This Belarusian-language newspaper, during the Gorbachev time, on a wave of publicity and the emergence of national-democratic movement, constantly raised critical social and political issues on its pages. This could not but affect his photographs, which started to be more and more social-oriented, socialist realism disappeared from his work, and art photography (which he had been interested in for some time) faded into the background. At this time, he began working on the theme of the Chernobyl tragedy, which became a priority, permeating his work. Beginning with the first trips to the exclusion zone and the Oncology Center in 1987 and ending with the last trip, two months before his death, the social tragedy of society after the explosion was the basis of these studies. Almost without touching upon the zone of alienation and environmental aspects, Sergei Brushko showed the tragedy of innocent people who were simply expelled from their land as a result of a man-made disaster and human carelessness. The theme of meetings and partings, the theme of wandering without a homeland, the theme of pain and illness became the basis for a story to be told a decade later. In those years, Brushko published large reports on women's prisons, street children and dying villages. The subject of village style life was also to become one of the dominants in the author's works, after a thorough knowledge of rural life from the inside helped to reveal it in full. It is a realistic view of village life that helps to read without the subtext the psychological portrait of the Belarusian village, its stagnation and isolation, nonetheless in its inner tranquility and balance. This active period of creativity of Sergei Brushko lasted for about 10 years. In the mid-90's, the photographer was diagnosed with incurable Raynaud's disease. In the last 5 years of his life, Sergey Brushko fought against the ailment, but it was in this period that his only book was made, a joint work of photographers Huggo Yeggi and Sergei Brushko "In Search Of Belarus. 12 Years After Chernobyl ", which was published in 1998. In the last 2 years, the photographer was combating the disease, spending most of his time in hospital. Sergei Brushko died on August 28, 2000, and was buried in his home village of Gorodeya.
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