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Švenčioniai region in the photographs by I. Šilkinis and K. Ulozas

A photographer and specialist in area studies Ignas Šilkinis was born on 19 March 1891 in Santaka village, Švenčioniai region. Encouraged by his parents, he started to learn the craft of photography. During a year-and-a-half internship at Leiboswski studio, he received fundamental knowledge of photography and essentials of practice. In autumn of 1912, the young photographer left for Vilnius where he worked at Antanas Narkevičius’ Photo Company “Strauss”. Due to reduced financial circumstances he accepted A.Narkevičius’ proposal to go to Central Asia to screen film on board the mobile cinema. He spent there two years of his life. When the First World War erupted in 1914, he came back to his homeland, where he married and started his own farm.

Photographer Ignas Šilkinis was devoted to photography as much as he was to collecting and area studies. His first photographs date back to 1912. His favourite subjects were landscapes of his homeland, family feasts, villagers, manors, churches, and events of the First World War. In 1961, his article on the history of photography was published in the newspaper “Czerwony sztandar“.

Throughout his life, photographer and area specialist I.Šilkinis collected a great many items of interest from the worlds of archaeology, ethnography and numismatics that he preserved and displayed in his home-museum.  

Ignas Šilkinis died on 3 February 1979 and was laid to rest in Švenčionėliai.

Karolis Ulozas was born in 1909 in Kukutėliai village, Tverečius volost, in a former Švenčioniai county. K.Ulozas was first introduced to photography during the First World War when a German mailman moved in the house. Soon afterwards, the young photographer set up a darkroom and started to take photos. His first photographs date back to 1928. Those who knew K.Ulozas remember him as a photo enthusiast always carrying a camera in his hands. He would capture village feasts: youth gatherings, get-togethers, weddings, Holy Communion, members of the “Rytas” society, amateur activists, and landscapes. K.Ulozas not only took pictures but also showed movies to villagers.

Photo enthusiast and enlightened villager Karolis Ulozas died in 1986 and was laid to rest in Ignalina.

Diligently capturing historical moments and villagers’ everyday life, Karolis Ulozas and Ignas Šilkinis were photo-chroniclers of the history of Švenčioniai region. A number of their glass negatives and photographic films are kept at the Nalšia museum. This virtual exhibition presents some of them.

Women in traditional clothing of Švenčioniai region

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