The public life of Josip Tito Broz is all too familiar to us. But despite the efforts of the propagandists of the day to depict for us his other, private life, this still eludes us. The material now before you provides an extremely valuable insight into this: the people Tito associated with in his free time, where and how he spent that time and, of course, the way he saw all this through the magic extension of the human eye, still or film camera.
Photography remained Titos favourite hobby right to the end of his life. Despite his stubborn devotion to it for more than forty years, he was consistently amateur to the end. Although he took tens of thousands of photographs, he had no desire to rise above the average in this endeavour, thus bearing out in the best possible way the original meaning of the word amateur (Latin: amator lover). Thus he was a lover of photography, someone who simply adored it.
Being an amateur had its advantages! Like all amateurs, Tito enjoyed the luxury of not having any particular favourite theme. He photographed everything the coast, distant islands, various landscapes, hunting, animals, flowers and things around the house, but rarely people, apart from welcoming masses at large receptions, and virtually never portraits. His camera often caught his staff, particularly the maids.
A significant part of the exhibition consists of Polaroid photographs made by Tito. This way Museum of Yugoslav History
is joining the initiatives to support the revival of this camera that changed the meaning of photography in the twentieth century. Its enormous popularity transformed photography from a technically complex weekend hobby to an integral, even inevitable way of looking at the world and recording life which was accessible to everyone. Although professional photographers looked down on it as a poor cousin or an auxiliary device, Polaroid drew its most loyal supporters from the ranks of artists and creative amateurs.
In June 2008, after sixty years and sales of about a million Polaroid cameras, the last Polaroid film factory closed in the Netherlands. Austrian businessman and Polaroid enthusiast Florian Kaps and the former engineering manager of the Polaroid factory, André Bosman launched the Impossible Project relaunching the production of films for Polaroid cameras. They leased part of the former Polaroid factory and began developing new formulas for both monochrome and colour instant films, announcing that the large-scale production of film will begin this year.