Anatol Kliashchuk was a well-known photographer for the Zviazda newspaper who took striking pictures. His nature photography is poetic and deeply moving. Kliashchuk worked as a photojournalist, photographer, and artist.
Though he passed away recently, his memory lives on through his numerous films, videos, and books.
Anatol Kliashchuk began taking photos in his younger years, inspired by his father.
He remembered the time in an interview, saying: “My dad had a camera, but he didn’t always let us use it. I joined the school photo club and took pictures of school events, dogs, and cats. Back then, non-pros only used one or two rolls of film per year. We’d pull out their camera when neighbors or family got together, and group photos were a must at such events. One day, on March 8th, my family and I went sledding downhill and had to cross a field. We were surprised to see two moose standing in the field. My dad hurried closer to snap pictures of them, which were later printed in the local Slutsk newspaper. It was a big event.”
After his time in the army, photography became something more important. While in journalism school, he spent the whole weekend constantly taking pictures. “I got lucky and bought a hard-to-find Zenit-E camera for a hundred bucks, which was a big deal at the time. Choosing between jeans and a camera was a no-brainer for me.”
Afterward, he became even more enthusiastic. You might remember seeing his pictures of the floods in Palesye. Anatol Kliashchuk also documented the aftermath of the Chornobyl disaster.
“I started talking to people and listening about their troubles and problems,” said the photographer. “Most of them didn’t expect me to help, they just wanted someone to listen. They were often too sick to receive visitors, and some had come to Minsk from faraway villages. Maybe they trusted me, but I’m not sure. Sometimes I knew when it was time to leave.”
After that, Anatol Kliashchuk headed to the countryside – to capture simple people and the beauty of the natural landscapes. Everything captured by his camera lens became a standalone masterpiece. His vision was profound, and his work as a photojournalist was unforgettable.
He has released numerous books and albums. He has also organized over 30 personal exhibitions.
“Klyashchuk introduced us to a fresh perspective of our cities, showcasing his beloved hometown Davyd-Haradok and photographing its unique architecture, including sun-shaped house plaques, oak boats, ticket booths, murals, and the Koniki celebration. He later compiled these photos in an album dedicated to Davyd-Haradok, which he co-created with his friend, poet Leanid Dranko-Maysiuk,” writer Vasil Dranko-Maysiuk shared on Facebook.
He’s reportedly been sick lately. However, up until recently, Anatol Kliashchuk’s photos were still being featured in the Zviazda newspaper, which he’d remained loyal to for decades. The photographer was 65 years old.
A goodbye ceremony for Anatol Kliashchuk is scheduled to take place on September 6 in Minsk.