Weddings. Midsummer festivals. Independence Days. Anniversaries… The circle of personal and national celebrations never ceases to turn. All celebrations share a common trait: They either help us experience change, or they themselves encourage that change to happen. And it doesn’t matter whether these changes occur in our personal lives or within our countries, their structure always remains the same.
First, we separate ourselves from the previous way of being, then we live through a transitional period until we finally establish a new identity. Lithuanian photography has been a witness to such transformations for decades. Photographers recorded traditional village celebrations as well as ideologically-driven parades and, later, moments of resistance against the Soviet regime as well as private parties. As times changed, so did photographers’ view of celebrations. Where they had previously observed and recorded social reality, they now turned their attention to the boundaries of prevailing social roles. It eventually became clear that photography is a powerful tool, devoted not only to observing our world, but also capable of changing it.
The exhibition Celebrate for Change invites you to explore the changes that take place through celebrations. This exploration is accompanied by documentary visual and audio material, providing an opportunity to view, directly and without any artistic filter, different authentic and alternative subculture celebrations and to experience what it means to participate in political protests or pagan rituals. After you’ve viewed this exhibition, you may want to ask yourself: Do I notice changes within myself?