Our Dear Old

Issue #1 • 1826

The first Tashkent International Competition of art photo “Our Dear Old” held in December 2002 has become the history – prizes and diplomas have found their owners and the other participants are preparing for new competitions and hope to meet their luck.

The government of the country recognized advisable to hold annual International Competition of Photo. In this year, declared “The Year of Makhallya”, the competition was included in the State Program and received a motto “Makhallya, or the World Where I Live”. Now we should turn back and think about the reasons, which determined the success of this initiative and what tasks are waiting in future.

What reasons do we have to tell about the success of the first International Photo Competition in Tashkent? First of all, statistic: 1084 works of 227 artists from 16 countries were presented to the Competition. The exhibition upon the results of the competition exposed about 400 works of 164 artists, 46 of whom were awarded. How to evaluate these figures? For the competition, which is held for the thirtieth or fortieth time they are impressive. But, for the debut, they are more than impressive. Geography of participants also satisfies. Among them there are not only our neighbors but artists from Europe, Far East and Middle East.

China, Ukraine, Iran and Moldova presented tens of the works. Presentation of France became concise and elegant. The Grand Prix went to Jean – Christophe Bechet (France) for the cycle “My Grandmother. Years are passing”. This decision was with one assent not only among jury members but among visitors too. The main reason that for several months parcels with photos from different countries had been arrived at Tashkent, which, frankly speaking was not a world photo center before, I think, is connected with the subject chosen for the first competition. The olds… I think there is no subject in the world that can give richer opportunities to be translated into realty. The fact is that the progress of humanity, development of knowledge about the world and person, improvement of life conditions – these and many other factors are promoting that average lifespan, especially in advanced countries, is permanently growing. It means that a period of activity when a person has a bright life full of events and impressions is becoming longer too.

Life of the old people is full of love for children and grandchildren and of interesting communications with friends. Not just “to be existing” during old years given by God and fortune but actually live and enjoy each moment – this is a wish of millions of people all over the world.

Theme of bright and active old age in the Western countries suddenly found resonance with traditionally respecting relation towards the old in the East. In Uzbekistan, announcement of 2002 the Year of the Old People became expression of the state concern about the people, which have given all their attention to young generation, which study wisdom and deeply spiritual relation to life at their grandfathers. In our country the tradition of respect and careful relation to the old age had been living for centuries. Aksakal, domla, aka – all these forms of addressing to an old man express respect not only towards the years he has lived but, first of all, to his wisdom, knowledge of life laws, following to which gave him opportunity to reach this old age. The people address to aksakal for advice, help and supporting words in a difficult period. Buvi, aiol, ona – reflect the image of kind and gentle grandmother, mother – the old woman filling up the heart with warmth of human relations and creating comfortable atmosphere at home.

The works presented for the photo competition “Our Dear Old” expressed variety of features typical of the modern old generation, their enjoyment of communication with their children, grandchildren, pupils and followers. Their devotion to the work that brought them recognition and respect, it doesn’t matter at what field, science, industry or social activity. The feelings of the people carrying a burden of the years but at the same time realizing that they have lived worthy life. Photos reflected the problems of the old people – somebody is alone, somebody suffers from diseases, somebody is thinking about the eternity. Many works by their deep penetration into the subject proved that photo artists have attentive, curious, inspective and always friendly look at the object before their camera.

About 400 works, the third part of total amount, during a month were being exposed in three halls of the Center of Modern Arts – an exhibition complex, which has already become a place for visits of Tashkent fine arts goers.

The competition and exhibition “Our Dear Old” marked that here, under the wing of the Center of Modern Arts, occurred and is growing the Tashkent House of Photograph, a department of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, which should manage many aspects of development of photo art, from exhibition till collecting of unique photos and professional education in photo art. The second International Competition of Photo, 2003 will be an original exam, which should demonstrate and prove a potential of new art organization to solve important organizational and art tasks.

Author: Yuriy Podporenko

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