KAUNAS PHOTO festival, now in it’s 14th edition, starts the educational programme “Olegas Truchanas: Lithuanian and Australian legend” for the regional schools on the 3rd of May. The introduction to the famous Lithuanian expat’s expeditions into the wild of Tasmania and his photographic work focusing on ecology will be presented by the culturologist, ethnographer, traveller Jonas Nekrašius and KAUNAS PHOTO director Mindaugas Kavaliauskas.
The goals of the educational programme are to introduce the undeservedly unknown photographer to Lithuanian youths, and also nurture their connection to nature, ecological awareness and public spirit. Olegas Truchanas and his merit in the fields of conservation and photography will be presented in a documentary, screened at schools, and followed by a discussion. KAUNAS PHOTO director Mindaugas Kavaliauskas and Jonas Nekrašius will visit five schools: Kražiai Žygimantas Liauksminas high school in Kelmė district, Pakruojis „Žemyna“ secondary school, Joniškis “Aušra” high school, Leipalingis secondary school and Seirijai A.Žmuidzinavičius high school.
Olegas Truchanas, the most famous Lithuanian- Australian, was born in Šiauliai in 1923 and died in 1972 during the photographic expedition in Tasmania. He moved to Australia after the second world war and and then settled in Tasmania. His passion for traveling and exploring extended into his photographic practice, which he then used to educate and raise ecological awareness. Whilst still in Lithuania, Olegas learned to care and look after every part of nature, however in Australia at the time nature was seen as a resource to be used. His day job was at a company building hydroelectric power plants, however he dedicated all of his spare time for the care and conservation of Tasmanian landscape, at least through photography. His job didn’t allow him to publicly speak out against the hydroelectric power plants and the effect it has on the landscape. However Olegas Truchanas travelled around the country organizing events, where he would project his photographic slides accompanied by dramatic music, and these were attended by thousands of people. The legend was born.
Mindaugas Kavaliauskas emphasizes that the Olegas Truchanas story is unique, because stunning nature photographs started a powerful community movement, that changed the public view on ecology and conservation, set up nature reserves, and even influenced the change of political powers in Tasmania.
KAUNAS PHOTO photography festival organizes photography workshops for schools second year in a row. Complimenting the annual programme of exhibitions by Lithuanian and international artists, public lectures, talks by photographers, critics, collectors and curators and guided tours, these creative workshops provide practical knowledge about photography as well as nurture creativity, consciousness and communal spirit.
KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest- running annual photography festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. It is organised by the NGO „Šviesos raštas“ since 2004. KAUNAS PHOTO is one of the most important annual art events in the country. KAUNAS PHOTO is a member of Festival Of Light organisation and works with the Federation of European Photographers. Main sponsors: Lithuanian Culture Council, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Kaunas city council. Patron of the festival is President Valdas Adamkus.