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Swedish photographer Tomas Gunnarsson's exhibition on equality opened in Agriculture_club in Petrozavodsk

Vasilisa Altynnikova
Alya Gratch at the opening of Tomas Gunnarsson's exhibition
photo by Vasilisa Altynnikova

The exhibition of legendary photographer Tomas Gunnarsson — Images that change the World — started in the Agriculture_club Art Space in Petrozavodsk on November 2. The Consulate General of Sweden brought the project on how to expand the limits of the norm in the image of people to Karelia.

Tomas Gunnarsson started working on project «Photos that change the World» in 2012 at the invitation of the authorities of the Swedish city of Gävle. Back then, the municipality decided to hang out photos of citizens near the City Hall, but the audience of the first exhibition noticed that the pictures «humiliate young girls.» In most of the photos, men and boys from Gävle were depicted as active and purposeful, and girls and women, on the contrary, as modest and passive. In addition, there were no images of elderly people, same-sex couples, people with disabilities or with a different skin color at all. Officials invited Tomas Gunnarsson to make a more diverse and balanced version of the exposition. Together with the inhabitants of Gävle, he made a new series of pictures, reflecting the idea of equality of the citizens better, and then released it as a separate picture album.

Organizer of the exhibition in Petrozavodsk Alya Gratch hopes that with the help of Gunnarsson's works she will be able to show that the images of people go far beyond the traditional clichés: aggressive and brutal men and cute and docile women.

- No one thinks that you can take people's photos in a different way, but walking through the exhibition, we can see how easily these stereotypes of photographing are shattered, - she said.

The exhibition in Agriculture_club takes place in two halls: for any audience and for people over 18 years old. For each photo, Thomas Gunnarsson came up with a short caption and a brief explanation of its story.

The Agriculture_club Art Space opened in Petrozavodsk in 2015. Its organizer Natalia Ermolina called her project "a hotbed of culture" and "a gathering point for intellectuals of the city". According to her, she wanted to create a resource platform for informal education and horizontal communication of interesting people. Agriculture_club hosts workshops, discussions, art exhibitions, watch parties and other events.

In 2018, Agriculture_club moved from the Kalevala Cinema to a new site at 20A Kommunalnaya street.


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