This week we explore work created by Croatian photographers, curated by Draženka Jalšić Ernečić, the Senior Curator of the Koprivnica Museum in Koprivnica, Croatia. She is also a researcher, writer, editor, and reviewer of visual arts and photography–and much more. I had the pleasure of getting to know Draženka when we reviewed together during Photolucida in 2019. She is an incredible advocate for photographers within and beyond the borders of Croatia.
On International World Down Syndrome Day 2020 (March 21st), Robert Gojevic presented his project Up For Down. It is a collection of twenty-one Wet-Plate Collodion portraits (plus three double mother-and-child portraits) as a kind of confessional statement in front of the camera. Mothers with children, men, and women of various ages and backgrounds have photographed in the exploration of identity and awareness of what living with Down syndrome means. The symbolism of numbers twenty-one and three are also very significant.
Robert’s unique approaches to Down Syndrome portraiture have a background in the nineteen-century history of the photographic medium. This time, through the theme of decision rights, the historical process reaches out the positive message and shows how community support and inclusive education can be meaningful in the personal lives of people with this chromosome disorder. Focused on supporting them and their organization, he advocates for their full participation in decision making about matters affecting their lives.