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An Africa of many faces

On Wednesday, April 2, 2003, at 16.00 an act of presenting the photos by Vladimir Snatenkov as a gift to the RAS Anthropology and Ethnography Museum named after Peter the Great (Kunstkammer) and an opening ceremony of a temporary photo exhibition " An Africa of Many Faces" took place.

A famous Saint Petersburg citizen, Russian traveler, Russian Geographical Society member Vladimir Snatenkov has travelled to more than 120 countries of the world. Since 1998 several photos taken by him were permanently on display in the RAS Anthropology and Ethnography Museum.

V. Snatenkov is presenting RAS Anthropology and Ethnography Museum with 100 large scale color photos made in 2000-2003 in a number of African states, located in Sub-Saharan Africa. All these photos with the author's comments will be shown at a temporary photo exhibition "An Africa of Many Faces" within the African exposition of the museum.

The works by Snatenkov give the audience a vivid, lively impression of this continent and of the peoples inhabiting it at present.

White-teethed smiles, energetic sparkling eyes, attractive faces of children and youth and "wisdom" furrows of the old people merge into an impressive collage, a collective portrait of the Black Continent, not only representing the diversity of the African ethnic types, but making the viewer feel that passions and emotions are similarly expressed by all the people of the Earth independent of the race, level of life and culture peculiarities.

The photos made by V. Snatenkov are real masterpieces of art, exuberant and abundant in human passions and emotions. Joy of life, sadness, meditation, joyfulness, childish curiosity, wisdom of old age are plenty in his works. Alongside the author manages to render the ethnographical essence of the plot (modern market scenes, scenes with children, the hair-cuts and garments of young African women and old, experienced hunters).

The photo portraits - images of people of all ages, of different social status and ethnic identity, shot by V. Snatenkov's admiring and subjective (in the positive sense of the word) camera are supplemented with the photographs of very skillfully depicted landscapes and inhabitants of the animal world. As a result a festive, vivid and at the same time very truthful, authentic picture emerges.

At the exhibition the viewer can see faraway countries in the same manner as the photo master does, as if with the latter's eyes: dramatically, unexpectedly, close shot; and get an unforgettable impression from the encounter with THE UNKNOWN, embodied in the picturesque landscapes and in the colorful magic of various corners of Africa.

The exhibits were on display till the end of 2003.