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Photos Exhibition in the Russian Cultural Center in Congo, Brazzaville

Andrey Gudkov embodied Sanga province Pygmies’ life

“Little ghosts of big forest” this is the name of photos exhibition of Russian photographer Andrey Gudkov, which was solemnly opened in Russian Cultural Center of Brazzaville on Wednesday, the 24th of May 2006.

At the opening the representative of minister of culture, art and tourism , the general director of culture and arts Mrs. Ivette Lucy Lebondzo, the ambassador of Russia in Congo Mr. Michael Tsvigun, director of the Russian Cultural Center Mr. Vasily Chechin, and also numerous invited presented.

The exhibition was organized thanks to joint efforts of the Russian Cultural Center in Brazzaville and Embassy of Russia in Congo. Andrey Gudkov’s exposition counting more than 20 photos is every whit devoted to life of pygmies which are also called Baka, living in the Sanga province in 130 km from Вессо – the main city of the province. There, in a village of pygmies, the Russian photographer spent about a week a year ago.

By means of the photo-pictures Andrey Gudkov aspires to acquaint the public with variety of civilizations existing in the world, especially in Africa, and also to provide balance between national interests and preservation and maintenance of cultural originality, in particular, such as pygmies possess.

The tradition of carrying out similar exhibitions for acquaintance to Africa was incorporated yet during years of active Soviet-Congolese cooperation.

The Russian photographer embodied a daily life of pygmies, these quiet, silent and observant people. In his photos it is possible to see trees cutting – the labor-intensive process demanding endurance, skills and physical strength from men; hunting for monkeys which are the main food of pygmies; fishing and forest gifts gathering – main duties of women; and also rare for pygmies moments of rest which they spend at a fire in the village Nguado.

Stay of the Russian photographer in this village was short, but, nevertheless, he had had time to learn pygmies well that allowed him to write several articles about life and routine of pygmies of Congo for the Russian newspapers and magazines. Andrey Gudkov’s publications have not gone unnoticed by the Russian public and admirers of the African continent: he received the invitation to take part in the Moscow Photo exhibition, devoted to the Africa Day on May, 25th 2005, Within the frame of this action Andrey Gudkov’s photos, devoted to the provinces Sanga Pygmies, were exhibited at one of the most prestigious showrooms of Moscow. At the opening of an exhibition about 40 heads of the diplomatic missions accredited in Moscow presented.

The exhibition in the Russian Cultural Center which will last for 2 weeks has caused great visitors’ interest. All of them noticed beauty and high quality of the photos, testifying professional skill of the Russian photographer.

Newspaper “La Semaine Africainen”, 2599, the 2nd of June 2006

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Acknowlegements:
Special thanks to designers Dmitry and Vladimir Jakovlev for professionalism and original creative decisions;
to translator Irina Kharakterova for qualified texts translation.