On 16 of November, Thursday, at 6pm, at Taras Shevchenko National Museum KAUNAS PHOTO festival in collaboration with Embassy of Lithuania in Kiev, Ukraine opens the exhibition “Olegas Truchanas the legend of Lithuania and Australia”. The exhibition includes descriptions of Olegas Truchanas life and his creation, also short videos. Everything is presented in Ukrainian language. Exhibition will be opened by director of KAUNAS PHOTO festival Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, ambassador of Embassy of Lithuania in Ukraine Marius Janukonis and ambassador of Embassy of Australia in Ukraine Melissa O’Rourke. The exhibition on display till 3 of December.
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 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.
He was a true person of nature: loving nature and exploring it. Just because of him I had a chance to know a beautiful nature of Tasmania. I am sure that the works made by Olegas Truchanas in Tasmania will remain as valuable material and expensive present for Australia. I am very happy that you made an initiative to present him, because people like him are so rarely in this world. He deserves our respect and we just can thank that he lived…”, – told the president of Lithuania Republic Valdas Adamkus who met Olegas Truchanas during his trip in Australia in 1964.
Consultant of exhibition Jonas Nekrašius (Šiauliai), Dr. Doug Spowart (Brisbane-Hobart), texts by Prof. Kristina Juraitė and Jonas Nekrašius, exhibition scenography by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas. Photography from archive of Truchanas family (© Melva Truchanas). Texts translations to Ukrainian language by Renata Kanarska (Kiev).
KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest – running annual photography festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. It has been a festival of premières for future stars of photography since its launch in 2004. KAUNAS PHOTO festival is a platform for dialogue around contemporary photographic creation between North and South, East and West. Next to the exhibition in Kaunas the festival organize exhibition in other Lithuanian cities and abroad. Since 2005, Kaunas-Photo-curated shows visited Finland, Poland, Italy, France, China, and New Zealand.
Organizers: KAUNAS PHOTO festival, Taras Shevchenko National Museum, Embassy of Lithuania in Ukraine, Embassy of Australia in Ukraine.
Sponsors – Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Council for Culture, Lithuanian Culture Institute.