Photoalbum

Siarhei Brushko

Over the last few years, Eastern Europe has seen a fashion for the 1980–1990s. The time of changes, the time of hopes, the time of destructions, the time of declines — everybody has their own way in characterizing this period. But no one denies the fact that this time of global change influenced the current political, economic, cultural and environmental situation in the world. In Belarus, this period is described in Svetlana Alexievich's books and in the recently released movie "Khrustal" (Crystal) directed by Darya Zhuk. But so far, we do not have a visual project showing the life of Belarusian society during the period of perestroika and the first years of independence. Currently, our team is creating a photo album about a time of great change, when one country collapsed and a new one was created. The photos of Sergey Brushko will help us restore the colors of that period, to reminisce the events that have become forgotten.

The "Zmena" (in Belarusian language this word has two different meanings, that's are"shift work" and "change") photo album will gather the photos taken by the photo documentalist Sergei Brushko, who passed away in 2000. About 100 photos from 1988 to 1993 will make a viewer dive into the spirit of that time. The collection consists of black and white photos with a skillfully crafted composition, with the main characters being ordinary people in that difficult time. Despite the severity of the topic, the visual language of Sergey Brushko is not gloomy, but rather poetic. The spirit of romance is hidden in the photos of protests and the hope in social problems. With the works of Eugene Smith, Andre Cartes, Robert Doisneau, these photos fit into the tradition of humanistic documentary photography.


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Sergei Brushko
Born in a small town called Gorodeya, near Nesvizh (Minsk region) on 28 May 1958.
Worked as a photojournalist for the "Kaliyshchyk Saligorshchyny", "Chyrvonaya Zmena", "Narodnaya Gazeta" newspapers.

Participated in the Belarusian-Swiss exhibition and publishing project "U poshukach Bielarusi. Hod dvanaccaty paslia Charnobyla"/ "In search of Belarus. The twelfth year after Chernobyl" (together with the Swiss photographer Hugo Jaeggi) (1998). Exhibitions in Germany, Switzerland, Belarus, Ireland.

Died in 2000, having left an invaluable collection of documentary photos, most of which were close to the Cartier-Bresson's style of photos.
About publication

Size: 17х24 cm,
Cover: hardcover, black textile
Number of pages: 200
Copies: 500.
Languages: Belarusian, Russian and English.
Distribution form: self-delivery from the distribution point or mailing with cash on delivery

The album will be available ONLY by pre-order of participating in a fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding platform Ulej and will not appears in bookstores.
One of those who created the Belarusian photo chronicle in the 1980−1990s historical period was Sergey Brushko. There is a craving to add to the word "created" the adverb "impassively", but that would be a mistake. Of course, his camera was impassive, but the master himself never did. As a matter of fact, his method is based on passion. Devoid of embellishments, audacious, not afraid of open emotions — every black and white photo seems to be created by Magnum Photos.

When working as an editor in the newspaper "Name", I got photos from Sergey. The same question raised over and over again — what should I refuse? Every report is a complete story, each portrait is a character, each photo depicts the whole era. I am not pretentious — it was our fate to live during such a turning point when everything is important. The Sergey Brushko’s heritage embraces an amazing set of documents fixing the Belarusian period of the end of the last century.


Nikolai Khalezin
, art director of the Belarus Free Theater
Writing about parents is both easy and difficult. It is difficult, because it is easy to be accused of prejudice and subjectivity. And for the same reason, it is easy, because subjectivity in this case becomes the highest form of objectivity — unrestrained childish love. I admire the photos of my father and admire them unrestrainedly and proudly. Just like my father, I make my living as a photographer. Examining the photos taken more than 20 years ago, I keep on looking for the answer to this question — how could he do that? How did he manage to take photos of not just people, but the whole human stories, which can be read from his photos?

Looking through the father’s photos of the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, I came to realize that the epoch in front of me was an amazing, fantastic epoch showing the most different life in Belarus. At first we wanted to take a few comments about that time, but our interlocutors remembered that time with such admiration and enthusiasm that we wanted to hear more. Valentin Akudovich, Vladimir Kolos, Nikolai Khalezin, Anatoly Gulyaev, Andrei Vardomatsky, Valery Kostyugova — they were talking about that epoch in such a way that it became infinitely enviable. They lived in that time and saw everything with their own eyes, and what is more important, they participated and created it!
So we decided to write down all these stories, not trying to look for the truth. We just wanted to know more about the Belarus of the late 1980s and, perhaps, understand what happened then.

Personally for me, this book is my ongoing conversation with my father, as nothing is lost forever, it just remains in us.

Dmitry Brushko
, the son of Sergei Brushko.
For all questions, please contact:
dmitrybrushko@gmail.com
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