Exhibition „Lithuanian Armed Forces in Photography 2008-2009“ displayed in Arkos Art Gallery


Exhibition of works provided for the „Lithuanian Armed Forces in Photography 2008-2009" Tadas Dambrauskas' Photography Contest will be put on public display in Arkos Art Gallery, Vilnius, on June 10.


The exposition is the final stage of Tadas Dambrauskas' Photography Contest „Lithuanian Armed Forces in Photography 2008-2009" - a traditional event of the Ministry of National Defence held for fifth time in a row.

87 professional photographers of Lithuanian press submitted their works for the jury of the contest along with amateurs, military and civilians, and foreign photography artists. Pictures taken in 2008-2009 were divided into two subcategories - professional and amateur. Around 800 pictures were presented for the contest.


„We are happy to see the tradition of photographic Lithuanian Armed Forces' history being continued. Eventually a unique collection of historical pictures will be in possession of the Ministry of National Defence," said Stanislovas Žvirgždas, winner of the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Award, and a jury member.


According to NATO contract photographer Walter Vanderhaegen, also a jury member in this year's contest, pictures from military exercises taken by soldiers are especially appealing, and quite a number of such photos were provided for the jury this year. „Photographic material that we have this year is significantly superior from artistic point of view to the last year's material, and we, members of the jury, are challenged to select the best pieces and to distribute prizes," the Belgian photographer said.


A new nomination was established this year to mark the 5th anniversary of Lithuania's membership in NATO and the 20th anniversary of the Baltic Chain - the most interesting and unique pictures were awarded in the category „Travelling from „greenbands" of the Liberation Movement to NATO. 1988 - 2004." 131 pictures were presented for the category.


„It is my strong belief that those several hundreds of photographic images provided for the contest will help us, and especially our children, to find a deeper understanding of the complicated way of establishing Lithuanian independence, as well as to recognise people who had sacrificed their lives for Lithuania's good, and to realise that memory of the people outdoes the slipping time," said Col. (R) Jonas Gečas who was invited to review photographs in the historical category.


Photography contest organised by the Ministry of National Defence was named for war photographer and combat camera Tadas Dambrauskas to add persistence to his memory and merits. T. Dambrauskas joined National Defence Department in 1990, soon after he was appointed as supervising instructor in Vilnius operational team. Later Tadas Dambrauskas worked as photographer in „Karys" magazine and for MIB „Iron Wolf" and the Ministry of National Defence as cameraman. Making video and photographic records of the Lithuanian Armed Forces throughout their evolution from „greenbands" of the Liberation Movement to a modern Armed Forces deserving membership in NATO Tadas Dambrauskas collected an entire archive of unique video and photo images. He was not afraid to risk or apply original methods in his work, and was ready to "break" any kind of "ice" to get to a good shot. Tadas Dambrauskas was the one and only cameraman in the Lithuanian Armed Forces so far to shoot parachutists tied up on an aircraft's wing; he used to accompany troops on their long and tiresome marches, recorded moments of the first Lithuania's international missions in the Balkan region and Afghanistan.


Winners of the „Lithuanian Armed Forces in Photography 2008-2009" Tadas Dambrauskas' Photography Contest will be awarded on June 18, Thursday, at 16.00 hrs in Arkos Art Gallery (Aušros Str. 7, Vilnius). The exposition will be open for the public till June 30.


See participant pictures of „Lithuanian Armed Forces in Photography 2008-2009" Tadas Dambrauskas' Photography Contest:

Picture in the left upper corner: Dovilė Čižaitė; Exercise of the Special Operations Forces „Balts Will". Klaipėda, 2008.


Picture 1: Artūras Armonas; Commemoration of February 16 in Kaunas, Garden of Vytautas the Great War Museum. 16 February 2009.


Picture 2: Gintaras Mockevičius; Patrol of Chaghcharan PRT-6 heading for the location of an avalanche, 8 January 2008.