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March 2022

Life over death – photographs by Tomi Lombar

On June 27, 1991, during the war for independent Slovenia, Photojournalist Tomi Lombar witnessed at least two astonishing scenes in Ljubljana, a few hours after the solemn declaration of independence. The first is from Podutik, the second from Celovška cesta in Šentvid. In Podutik, a stranger, returning from the celebration of independence, stood in front of a tank of the Yugoslav People’s Army. Tomi Lombar photographed him from behind a tree when he stood resolutely in front of the tank, with his bare hands raised high. But the tank did not stop, and the boy had to jump. The scene from Celovška cesta is similar. There, too, the man stood in front of the tank. Tomi Lombar photographed him when the tanker sped up and the man jumped and barely saved his life.

Although the Slovenian heroes from the photograph did not stop the war, their message is in the act itself – they opposed death with their lives, and with their actions they expressed the right of the nation to its own country and the right of the nation to live in peace. Thirty years later, we are witnessing identical scenes from Ukraine on European soil. With Tomi Lombar’s photographs, we at the Museum of Recent History of Slovenia join the effort to support fellow museum workers in Ukraine and to condemn all forms of wartime violence.

Dve fotografiji s tanki in osebami.

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