Jindrich Streit

Born on 5th September 1946, in Moravia, in the eastern part of what is now the Czech Republic, Jindrich Streit graduated in art education form the Teacher Training Department of Palacky University, Olamouc in 1967. He was married in 1971. He and his wife Agnes have one daughter, Monica.

He began teaching, eventually becoming head teacher at the village school in Sovinec, where he also lived, near the Polish border in northern Moravia. At the same time, he began his own photography and, in 1973, he opened a gallery in Sovinec, where avant-garde artists began to show their work. Then, after participating in an unofficial exhibition in 1982, the secret police arrested him. Finally sentencing him to 10 months imprisonment for defamation of the republic and the Head of State, based on an interpretation of his photographs. Even his camera was confiscated as an instrument of the crime. The case is probably unique in the history of photography.

After his release, he was not allowed to return to his teaching, but couldn’t keep away from his cultural and artistic activities. His work was first shown in the United Kingdom at the Side Gallery in Newcastle in 1989. Shortly afterwards, the Velvet Revolution dramatically changed his life. Since then he has lectured in photography at the Film/Academy in Prague, the Arts Academy in Bratislava and the Silesian University in Opava.

He has devoted himself to documenting Sovinec and the surrounding villages as well as accepting commissions to work in France, Japan and in the North East of England.

Sovinec

from: Photography

Documentation of the photographer’s home village in Czechoslovakia, developed in the 1970s and 1980s. He brought the work to Side Gallery in the early 1990s, one of people involved in the Crook International Photography Workshop in 1993, where he began to extend the project into The Village is a Global World.

The Village is a Global World

from: Photography

The ex-mining villages in South West Durham, photographed in the mid-1990s by the Czech photographer, initially as part of the Crook International Photography Workshop in 1993, but also as part of his exploration of villages across the world , a development from his exhibition Sovinec.

Unclear Family: Crook Workshop, 1993

from: Photography

A group show presentation of the work coming out of the Crook International Photography Workshop in 1993, documenting the experience of family in and around the South West Durham town.