It’s no exaggeration to say that Antanas Sutkus, who turned 80 on May 27, 2019, is a giant among contemporary Lithuanian photographers. His work features among the permanent collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the statue of Jean-Paul Sartre that stands outside the National Library in Paris is based on a Sutkus photograph and his huge and deeply personal long-term project to photograph everyday life in Lithuania during the Soviet occupation stands among one of the most important visual archives of the 20th century. Sutkus was also the first artist to openly confront the Holocaust in Soviet-era Lithuania, starting a project to photograph its Lithuanian survivors at an unsanctioned Holocaust commemoration event at the Ninth Fort in Kaunas in 1988 when doing so was still a potentially dangerous thing to do, a project that grew over time and that eventually became the highly recommended book In Memoriam.
If you like great photography and uncomfortable history, discovering Antanas Sutkus may well be one of the best things to happen during your visit to Lithuania. Leave the amber jewellery for somebody else to buy at the market stall and go and visit a bookshop instead. More information at www.antanassutkus.com.