„There is no fire“
Collaborative photographers: Martin Tůma, Jakub Skokan
Project „There is no fire“ is a photographic essay about a voluntary women´s fire brigade from village Zelechovice in Czech Republic.
The women themselves aimed the project to draw media attention to the conflict between them and the local council about fire brigade´s technical equipment. Yet in the course of mutual action of photographers and firewomen, the project had lost its original objectives. Regular photography sessions in Zelechovice became a part of its daily life, what had in principle made out the essence of photographic work itself.
The voluntary firebrigade in Zelechovice as in many others villages in Czech Republic has been existing since the end of the 19th century. They have had significant importance not only by helping to overcome natural disasters.Voluntary fire brigades had always been in the centre of the social life in the communities, holding events such as balls and masquerades.
Carnival allows people to get loose from everyday duties by turning the society order upside down.
What persists is a topsy-turvy logic of festivity and laugh, which also works as the principle of humour and grotesque in art. And so do the photographs imply the sence of absurdity, having roots in Czech rural humoresque. Indeed, it is not meant to ridicule the mission of voluntary firebrigade. Rather it satirizes the rules in todays world , where human acting is only appriciated when seen as a result of power and visible efficiency. The women from Zelechovice are thus the heroines of what Antoin DeSaint Exupéry called the Art of Everyday Life.
The project concerns with traditional human fellowship, which has experienced real decrease in the last decades mostly in the bigger cities all over Czech Republic. But most of all it is pointing out to us how important is it to share playfulness and aimless joy with each other.