٠ Andrei Liankevich ٠

1234© Andrei Liankevich, all photographs from the series Goodbye, Motherland, 2011

The “Goodbye, Motherland” project explores the attitude to WWII in Belarus. Belarus has only one ideology – war ideology. Belarus Independence Day is the day when the capital was freed from the Nazi occupation. The main streets in the capital are named after war heroes, which is around 30% of all streets names. The latest research shows that people can hardly remember who the person the street is named after was. Everything in Belarus starts from and ends in: “We won the war. We are heroes”.

7658© Andrei Liankevich, all photographs from the series Goodbye, Motherland, 2011

Liankevich describes his inspiration in his own words: “War has never been anything close to me in [an] emotional sense. It was the story about ‘every fourth man who died in Belarus.’ But I have never sensed it personally. There was no sorrow, no pain.” From this standpoint the collection unfolds in faded faces, sleeping soldiers and strange personal paramilitary objects (busts of generals, canteens, manikins in uniform). Liankevich’s photos are eerie and haunting, they seem to look into the past as if one were looking through a swimming pool at people and places. This coupling of theme and material is an ideal marriage of medium with idea.

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