30th January – 30th March 2016
Private view: 29th January, 18:00 – 20:00
Centrala presents the exhibition ‘Sovinec’ by Jindrich Streit, one of the most important Czech Documentary Photographers. For over 40 years, primary school teacher Jindrich Streit has been photographing the people of his home village Sovinec in the north of the Czech Republic.
Having always lived and worked among his subjects Streit is well known locally and is assumed to always be carrying his camera. His photographs strikingly reveal this intimate relationship with the villagers, but are often brutally frank about the hard life that was etched out by the people of Sovinec. These images were unsettling for the authorities, who in 1982 imprisoned him for, amongst the other things, photographing a party meeting where people were asleep. As a result, he lost his teaching job and had to join his friends who worked on the local collective farm. Despite this, Streit persevered with his photographic work, responding by opening his house to the local community and building a gallery for contemporary art on the first floor. Today it is a remarkable cultural centre that attracts work from around the world.
This Exhibition is supported by Arts Council England, Czech Centre in London, Eric Franke Fine Art and The Side Gallery. The Exhibition is part of the Capture Birmingham weekend 19- 20 March.