»OUR ANGER IS BOUNDLESS«
Tone Stojko is a man of many skills. He is also the author of the first photograph of the political arrest in Slovenia and winner of the Prešeren Fund Award. First and foremost, though, undoubtedly a photographer. Reportage, theatrical, portrait, also concert and personally intimate. Above all, a photographer of demonstrations.
This is HIS theme, his life mission, his personal contribution to social responsibility, which he has been faithfully following with the lens of his camera for more than fifty years.
Demonstrations are, by mere definition, "a mass expression of mood, usually in protest." He recorded this constitutional right in the timelessness of photography, as expressed through the unpredictable dynamics of the masses, innovative protest scenery and the common goal of the protesters - drawing attention and demanding change.
The opus that he created between the pivotal years of 1968 and 2020, in Slovenia, Yugoslavia and Central Europe, is an extraordinary visual and chronological stroll through the demonstrations of various social and professional groups. It crosses generational and national boundaries and the boundaries of different systems.
He recorded the images of his first student demonstrations in 1968 in black and white and, analogously, also the decisive mass response of Slovene society in the democratic ferment of the 1980s and early 1990s. They are kept today by the National Museum of Contemporary History.
The photographic images of the many public expressions of dissatisfaction at the beginning of the 21st century, however, are in colour and digital; both those during the global financial crisis and those documenting the completely new ways of demonstrating in the "coronavirus" year of 2020.
Tone Stojko, on his own initiative, worked hard, always in the right place with his initially modest, but then ever more sophisticated photographic equipment, an obligatory portable ladder and an exceptional sense for the sequence of events. Even when, among the mass of protest banners, he caught in the lens of his camera one with the caption "Our anger is boundless".