Secondary School

This is a sad story and it is about my school. My secondary school in the home town was shut down. It was prestigious and the only one in town with a specialisation in fine art and teaching artists-pedagogs. For example, the students were allowed to go to the school without wearing uniforms as they were drawing and painting the whole day, so as not to make the uniforms dirty. What an exclusive feature of a pioneer order in Soviet times.

The school has various artworks in the house, from famous artists (e.g. frescos) to student works. The controversial closure was a surprise to the community discussing the value of closing an art school with its rich history. This situation is of major importance to the geopolitics of the country and it sheds light on the demographic reduction scale. The town Panevėžys, where the school is situated, was the most affected by migration in the region. The closing of the school is a consequence of the general political climate in the state. Many schools in the periphery were shut down or undergoing closure procedures. Now the former Panevėžys 12th secondary school (later in 2001 renamed as Panevėžio Verdenės pagrindinė mokykla) building left abandoned, destroyed and empty.

This is what has left.

The documentary photographic series of the chalkboards, the main scene (as an altar) in the classroom, was executed in 2017. The school in its entire rough Soviet condition and infrastructure remained functioning until its closure in 2015. The photography object is nowadays the so-called whiteboards previously in Soviet times were brown-, black- or simply chalkboards. Further, other aesthetic occasions were also documented. To get access into the abandoned building was a struggle, it took me several years to enter. Eventually succeeding meeting a friendly guard, who allowed me to enter and document the school.