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Exhibition: 'FROM VICTORY 1945. TO VICTORY 1995.

Updated: Mar 4

War photography exhibition entitled “From Victory in 1945 to Victory in 1995”

organized by the Association of Veterans of the Homeland War and Anti-Fascists

(VeDRA) VEDRA - Veterani Domovinskog rata i antifašisti presents a selection of

war photographs, both from the World War II and the Croatian Homeland War in Red History Museum Oct 17- Nov 11, 2023

As stated in the program of the association but also discernible from the exhibition

itself, the goal is to encourage dialogue and “awareness of the glorious anti-

fascist past of the Croatian nation, both in the World War II and in the Homeland

War. Instead of pride that in such difficult historical times, we managed to choose

the right and winning side in the global fight against Nazism, there is revisionism.

Instead of understanding the Homeland War as a continuation of the same fight

against fascism as it was in the World War II, it is too often understood as an

opportunity to rehabilitate a politics and ideology that was defeated long time ago.

Croatia therefore found itself in a tragic divide: it was a winner in both 1945 and

1995, but at the same time, on so many levels, it is trying with all its might to

cancel its victory in the World War II and avoids connecting it with the victory in

the Homeland War. This is especially important in Split and Dalmatia, which would

never had been part of Croatia without the anti-fascist fight.”

It is through the dialogue of these photos, through the depictions of the two

armies, that we want to emphasize that even though 50 years passed in the

meantime, behind these people in the photos stands the same love for the

homeland, for justice and the same desire for a better and fairer world.

The photographs were created by war photographers Živko Gatina and Matko

Biljak, who accompanied the partisans and defenders in the Homeland War

respectively, in order to vividly depict the situation on the battlefield.

The exhibition “From Victory to Victory” is a history of war photography on the

pages of a newspaper that has two sacred words “Freedom” and “Dalmatia” in

its title. It is also a story of two 19-year-old young men, Živko Gatina and Matko

Biljak, who went to war with a rifle in one hand and a camera in the other to

bear witness to the victorious war against the two fascisms, those of Hitler and

Milošević, respectively. Živko Gatin was the first photojournalist of Slobodna

Dalmacija, while Matko Biljak took the best photographs of the Croatian

Homeland War from Slavonia to Dalmatia and is today the photo editor of

Slobodna Dalmacija. Many of the exhibited photographs were published in all

reputable world newspapers as a valuable testimony of the time, events and

people of our region in the fight for a better future.

(Fjodor Feđa Klarić)

Photo: Željko Tutnjević

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