Wedding dresses, bison, and naked paratroopers: the best Belarusian photographers to follow on Instagram

Wedding dresses, bison, and naked paratroopers: the best Belarusian photographers to follow on Instagram
Image: Masha Svyatogor, from the Autobiography Without Facts mixed-media series. Courtesy of Shklo Platform.

1 April 2020

Get a glimpse into Belarusians’ everyday lives, hopes, and challenges as captured by the country’s emerging photographers with the Instagram account @shklo.platform.

Among the personal projects on offer, the account showcases a cohort of female Belarusian image-makers documenting the lives of women in a myriad of ways: featuring young women who defy social expectations, elderly women who claim to have godly healing powers, and brides who have held on to their wedding dresses through turbulent times.

Ihar Hancharuk’s series Young Soldier, on the other hand, confronts the cultural militarisation of children by anonymising images of boys holding guns.

You’ll also find plenty of collages: in his series Past Dying Today, Alexander Mihalkovich highlights the destruction and the poor restoration of historical monuments in Belarus, as well as the prevalence of rural homes that “look like shoeboxes”.

Belarusian nature is also celebrated by @shklo.platform, with its majestic photos of endemic bison and horses.

Ending on a positive note, Photographs for Dima is a somewhat humorous series of portraits that photographer Sergey Kozhemyakin shot on the request of a stranger called Dima, a former paratrooper he met bathing by a waterfall.

“During that short 10-minute photoshoot, my attitude towards the man changed drastically. My initial arrogance or hostility towards him was replaced by sympathy,” Kozhemyakin recalls. “It was obvious that he wanted to be seen or heard.”

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