United, Reasoned And Civilised/1988


United, Reasoned And Civilised/1988

On the 30th anniversary of JBTZ – May 9 – June 10, 2018

The photographic exhibition is presented to the public on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of events that set the scene for the general Yugoslav crisis in the 1980s and gave rise to an immediate and massive response of Slovene civil society.

The arrests of civilians and a non-commissioned officer of the YPA on suspicion of publishing military secrets, known as JBTZ after the initials of their surnames (Janša Janez, Borštner Ivan, Tasić David and Franci Zavrl), prompted numerous protest actions and demonstrations, mostly organized by the Committee for the Protection of Human Rights. The mass mobilisation of those who thought similarly accelerated the democratisation of Slovene society and forecaste the imminent collapse of both the system and the state, which, because of a host of unresolved difficulties, swiftly headed to their end.

The two-part photographic exhibition takes the visitor to the sites of demonstrations, among individuals and groups of very different points of view and age, who were combined in support of the accused four and against the violation of fundamental human rights, in a united, reasoned and civilized way.

The photographer of the weekly Mladina, Tone Stojko, a photographic chronicler who almost daily recorded the stampede of events in the second half of the eighties, is the author of the first visual document of political arrest in Slovenia. The museum atrium offers rarely or never before seen documentary photos of that late spring, hot summer and autumn of 1988, by which Nace Bizilj, Marjan Ciglič (Dnevnik journalist), Janez Bogataj (photographer of the weekly Mladina) and then already retired photo-legend Edi Šelhaus overcame unreliable human memory. All the exhibited photographs are now kept by the National Museum of Contemporary History.

Look at them carefully. Do you see yourself in the mass of faces?