Fotograf Magazine

Jan Regal

Jan Regal – Slušovice/New Archive (2009 – 2011)

I come from a village not far from Slušovice; later we moved to Hranice. The agro-processing plant (Agrokombinát Slušovice) was located there and during my childhood in the 1980’s it was seen as a unique phenomenon: on Sundays people travelled there for trips and to shop, for lunch in a restaurant inside an airplane, to look at horses and other attractions. The agro co-ops from the individual mountain villages in the borderlands between Moravia and Slovakia were joined under the aegis of Agrokombinát Slušovice with its chairman, František Čuba. Obviously inspired by the example of the Baťa Family in nearby Zlín, they were able to create small teams, types of economic competition, to trade well with “the West” and still be the pride and joy of socialist Czechoslovak agriculture. They exported calves in large amounts, syrup extracts and fertilizer in exchange for which they brought back parts from which they built computers in the Slušovice factory halls. Employees could go shop at the Quatro stores, which was Slušovice’s own Tuzex, they could save in banks, and a several-kilometre highway built by the co-op led from the village to Zlín. The strong, narrative history, the myths, that brought Slušovice’s activities to the fore in the economicallyand socially-ruined Czechoslovakia during the second half of the 1980’s, per chance when acquiring the archives, and also the connection to earlier projects, when I worked in the context of my region, where I spent almost three decades of my life, all this was strong personal motivation, which led me to work systematically with the theme: Slušovice.

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