Slovenia’s legendary photojournalist Joco Žnidaršič belongs to the country’s oldest generation of photographers. As long-standing photography editor at a major national newspaper, he played a vital role in fostering visual sensibility in journalists, establishing high standards of press photography and encouraging young generations of photographers who worked for the Delo daily. The thirtieth anniversary of Slovenia's declaration of independence is an ideal opportunity to delve into Joco’s extensive oeuvre and display a representative selection of photos made during 1988–91 with a view to presenting how his images served to record the period that ushered the country into an age of great societal change. With his camera, Joco recorded virtually all watershed moments in those breakup years: from the JBTZ affair and massive demonstrations in the Congress Square, the Republic Square rally, Gorbachev in Slovenia and the last Congress of the League of Communists, the rallies for Slovenia, the referendum and the presidential elections, to the Brioni Agreement and the beginning of war. In some cases, when no other photographer was in the field, Žnidaršič had access to exclusive news: these pictures have a special documentary and archival value. In addition to famous historical scenes, the exhibition features a series of photographs that reveal, with exceptional visual eloquence and sensitivity, the photographer’s true humanistic character.
Born on 20 March 1938 in Šoštanj, Joco Žnidaršič graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in Ljubljana in 1963. He became involved in press and art photography during his studies and later devoted himself entirely to this pursuit. He worked as a photojournalist for the Študentska tribuna, TT and Tovariš, and from 1974 until his retirement, as a picture editor for the newspaper Delo.
In addition to his journalistic/photojournalistic work for newspapers and magazines, his output includes a series of excellent photography monographs that earned him recognition as one of Slovenia’s most prominent art and news photographers. His most notable photography monographs include: Foto Joco Žnidaršič, Ljubljana, Bohinj, Slovenski vinogradi, Pot k očetu (Himalayan travelogue), Dobimo se na tržnici, Golf na Slovenskem, Deset let je Slovenija država, Moja Slovenija, Lipicanci, Najlepša pot zeleni prstan Ljubljane and Ljubljana lepa in prijazna, which received widespread critical praise and favourable reception from the reading audiences.
He co-authored and edited another twenty photography monographs, most notably Zakladi Slovenije, Vojna za Slovenijo, Lepa Slovenija, Planica (Parts I and II) and Slovenija lepotica Evrope.
Joco Žnidaršič holds the title of Master Photographer of EFIAP, the highest distinction of the International Federation of Photographic Art. He has won more than fifty national and foreign awards and distinctions, including the Prešeren Fund Award, the Župančič Prize, the Puhar Lifetime Achievement Plaque, and Consortium Veritatis – the highest Slovenian award for achievements in journalism. He is the first Slovenian recipient of the "World Press Photo" prize. In 2009, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Danilo Turk, awarded him the "Golden Order of Merit" for lifetime achievements in photography and for his great contribution to the visibility of Slovenia. In 2013, he was awarded the City of Ljubljana Prize, and in 2017 the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, presented him with the "National Order of Merit" in recognition of his services in building national identity as a co-creator of and contributor to the “Slovenia my Homeland” campaign. He works as a freelance photojournalist and is co-owner of Veduta AŽ, d.o.o., which publishes photography monographs.
Joco Žnidaršič: The Breakup Years
4,00 EUR * * EUR for younger than 25 and older than 65, as well as pensioners, discounted prices for the lowest seat category
The exhibitions are open daily between 10.00 and 19.00. The entrance to all exhibition areas is from Prešernova Street.
In cooperation with
National Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia
Ali Žerdin, PhD
Selection of photographs
Ali Žerdin, PhD
Ali Žerdin, PhD
Graphic design and exhibition layout
Katarina Štok Pretnar
The exhibition is held under the honorary patronage of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor.