The Morning of Our Dawn: Looking for a Factory, We Discovered a City, the Jednostavno rečeno Group

14.07.2022-25.08.2022, 12:00-20:00

Artget Gallery
The Morning of Our Dawn: Looking for a Factory, We Discovered a City, the Jednostavno rečeno Group
July 14 – Aug 25, 2022
Art director: Mia Ćuk

Archives of Photographs, Archives of Memories

Photo archives preserved and stored by museums and libraries are extremely important for all researchers. Digitization of archives gives them a new dimension and keeps them from being forgotten.

A large number of priceless photo archives have disappeared through the processes of privatization of media in our country in the past three decades. After taking over the media, the new owners would usually throw out the photographs and negatives, in order to “use” the spaces where they were stored. In most cases, these materials are irretrievably lost. That’s exactly why the archives that have been preserved become even more precious. One of these examples is the photographic archive of Murat Jukić, housed in the Priboj Native Museum. It consists of some 750 negatives, on which there are more than 25,000 photographs, created from the sixties to the eighties of the twentieth century. The digitization and public presentation of the Archive is just the beginning of its new life. Most of these photographs are almost without context, only described by one word on the box containing the negatives, such as “Women”, or “New Year Celebration”. With the exhibition Already Unseen, held in May this year, we invited the citizens of Priboj to enrich the photographs with stories and memories that they recognize in them, but also with stories about Priboj and FAP that may not be directly represented in the photographs, but are invoked by them.

We delved into the FAP photographic archive and photographs / negatives kept by the Native Museum in Priboj: 60 boxes, with numerous photographs and 750 negatives.

Some of them preserve stories of the life of Priboj and its surroundings from the sixties and seventies, the daily life of the factory, the FAP restaurant, sports grounds, mass games, carnivals, and even displays of many FAP trucks, some in groups, some individually, static or in action.

The most exciting part of bringing these archives to light was talking to people, in person and through social media. Those familiar with the everyday history of Priboj, immediate protagonists, friends and family members revealed to us the backgrounds of individual photographs, with lots of emotions and anecdotes. We recorded the most interesting ones and turned them into the accompanying narratives.

These archives, just like the stories of FAP, seem to be endless and inexhaustible. They are the history of the city of Priboj and the memory of a time that survives and stays extremely vivid in the memories of people of Priboj, from whose experiences we can and should learn.

The exhibition The Morning of Our Dawn is an overview of the work of the Jednostavno rečeno Group, and one possible view of the selection of photographs and scanned negatives made through research into the life of the city, the industrial and cultural heritage of Priboj. The collected material and documentation, interviews, poetic fragments and video and audio recordings are a template for conveying the contents of this archive to a new audience. It is also an introduction to further consideration of the public presentation of photo archives being digitized by the Jednostavno rečeno Group: the archive of the FAP automobile factory in Priboj and the archive of the Native Museum of Priboj. By showing the archives in virtual and physical public spaces the Group aims to achieve a more comprehensive presentation and contextualization of photographic and other archives as well as to communicate them in new ways and in different public spaces – from Facebook to cultural centres, from galleries to trucks.

JEDNOSTAVNO REČENO (i.e. simply put) deals with the research, reflection and presentation of the cultural and industrial heritage of cities in the country and the region. Through their work so far, they have researched the heritage of Priboj, with a special focus on the influence of the Automobile Factory of Priboj (FAP) not only on the industrial, but also on the cultural, sports, demographic, urban, infrastructural, intercultural, educational development; on the life and spirit of the city. Through these researches, the publication Why Now, Why FAP, and the short documentary film FAP Was Not Just a Company were created. Based on the archive of negatives and photographs from the Native Museum, which were digitized, the publication Already Unseen was issued and an interactive exhibition put up in various public locations in Priboj, as well as on a FAP 1213 truck. In this way, a tribute was paid to FAP trucks that transported goods and united people, cities and countries, but were also a kind of cultural centres.