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Bohdan HOLOMICEKBorn in 1943 in Sienkiewiczowka, Ukraine.

When the war ended, Holomicek’s family emigrated to Mlade Buky, a town on the Polish-Czech border. Living conditions were very harsh, and only three of the five children survived. This mountain region is where the photographer still lives, in the home provided by the small electricity power station where he worked as an electrician until he retired. In 1956, aged thirteen, he received his first camera for Christmas. In fact, a few months earlier, he had ‘spirited’ a small amount of money from his mother to buy a small camera he had spotted in the village shop. The petty thief was easily discovered, having been unable to plausibly explain where the camera had come from; his father demanded that he return it to the shop and retrieve the money. The following Christmas, the present was all the more surprising for Bohdan, who had not given up the idea of one day having a camera.

At this time, his only contact with photography had been reading the magazines in a collection container; the young boy spent hours looking at them. He also soon attended the photography club he heard about in the next village. He learned only the technical rudiments needed to take his first shots, but soon forgot the ‘aesthetic’ rules that the club’s older members tried to instil in him. Since that Christmas, Bohdan Holomicek has taken thousands of photographs—a prolific, moving uvre of great formal liberty. His images instantly move us, and that is doubtless the hallmark of a great talent.

All of his work, whether on his village, Havel, the theatre or other topics, speaks of one thing: his passion for humankind when it exercises its freedom, generosity and curiosity.

Bohdan Holomicek presented his work at the Rencontres d’Arles in 2009: Vaclav Havel, Complicit destinies, at the Atelier de Maintenance.