City without inhabitants
is a city without a soul

Jiří Hanek

A mutual international exhibition of photographs taken by high school student from Karlovy Vary and their partner city of Carlsbad in California shows the public a non-traditional view of these two cities. The year 2007 saw both sides of the Atlantic in workshops under the professional direction of lecturers, whose final objective was the announcement of winners and the granting of awards. After the end of the presentation in Karlovy Vary, the collection will be exhibited in Carlsbad.

The message of this project is to introduce the town, as it is really seen by the people that live in it. For a health spa town like Karlovy Vary, it is about a non-traditional view, because the local and international public perception is of somewhat of a cliché - pictures of historical town center with references to the past on postcards, promotional spa resort flyers and magazines. The whole collection of work makes it clear that the town is not only about the architecture. The town should be perceived as a place where people live. In our case, the photographs help discover and teach its inhabitants of both partnering towns about each other.

Students captured in their photographs a town of "then and now". Finding, and then showing other people, hidden charm of locations, which we don’t know, even though we walk through these parts very frequently. These photographs are valuable because they show places where local people actually live, or where they spend their free time. The line of photographs show hidden beauty or mood, which no one commonly pays attention to. They open the viewer’s eyes. It is thus possible to view them as if they were some kind of a sociological dismissal.

The workshop and consultation participants of the project were led in Karlovy Vary by lectors Aleš Loziak and Kateřina Pavelková, who study in the field of photography at faculty of arts and design at the University of J. E. Purkyně in the city of Ústí nad Labem. High school photography teachers assisted in Carlsbad as well as Jacquie Thye, a prize-winning photographer who obtained the judges and kept in contact with PROTEBE live as to the details of the exhibitions.

Integral part of the project, which was prepared by civic association PROTOBE live, who’s emphasis is on after school education. Those that participated in the project learned artistic conception and theory, and also addressed what a photograph actually is, and how it is possible to approach this expressive resource.