Through to January 12, 2023, the Freelens Gallery in Hamburg presents the exhibition ‘Village People 1965–1990’ with photographs by Jindřich Štreit.
A chronicler and storyteller extraordinaire, Štreit (b. 1946) has documented rural life in the Czech regions of Moravia and Bohemia in a black-and-white oeuvre spanning more than five decades. While working as a teacher in the small village of Sovinec in the 1960s, Štreit used his spare time to explore his surroundings with his camera – quickly taking on the role of a local chronicler.
To the modern viewer, his renditions of everyday life in a country marked by the turmoil and destruction of two World Wars, and the dictatorship that followed, can at times seem almost absurd. In skilfully composed images, Štreit captured the isolation and loneliness of life in a socialist collective. At the same time, however, his observations of private moments and shared celebrations are a testament to the joie-de-vivre, sense of community and solidarity that endured in the face of external challenges.
Today, Štreit’s images are hailed as classic works within photography history, with representations in international collections and exhibitions around the world. The showcase at the Freelens Gallery, which encompasses a selection of 40 prints, was organised in collaboration with Photonews and Bildband Berlin, and is accompanied by a comprehensive publication.
See a detailed portfolio of Jindřich Štreit in the LFI 7/2021