Reflections in the Mirror

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“Reflections in the Mirror” or
“Slováci v Kanade svojimi očami”

by Ondrej Miháľ

The Slovaks in Canada exhibit will contain up to 7 different “themes”. One of these “themes”  will be the photo exhibit, tentatively named “Reflections in the mirror”. In many ways it may be the most striking portion of the exhibit, because it will be composed of mostly photographs that were taken by the subjects themselves during the last century. 

The art of Photography is over 100 years old.  In many ways it is our window into both the present and also the near-distant past.  The photographs we took reflected the way we were and the way we wanted others to see us. Some of the very first photographs of Slovaks in Canada are now over 100 years old, reflecting the long history of Slovaks living in Canada.  The mass merchandising of photographic technology started with the Kodak Brownie camera in 1900, and with its endurance through the next 100 years, resulted in photographs being available in most peoples family albums. Our grandparents, mothers or fathers had the means and the opportunity to document not only the special events in their lives, but also the everyday on-goings that today, for us, are a window into their past lives.

In order for this photo exhibit to truly represent all Slovak Canadians, the exhibit Collections committee is looking for access to your valuable old photo collections. For many, it’s only a few faded photographs, but for some, there may be boxes of both yellowed photographs and negatives of all sizes, perhaps passed down by deceased parents or grandparents. Our objective is to amass as large a collection as possible and then pick the best of the best for the Photo Exhibit in Bratislava.  It is through photographs that we will, for the first time, allow our compatriots in Slovakia to truly see the work and dedication of building ones family, community and churches all across Canada.  All photographs and negatives will be returned after they are re-photographed or reprinted, unharmed. This photo exhibit will represent you and your life in Canada and only by the participation of many everyday Slovak Canadians will it truly live up to its mandate - to show Slovaks in Canada as we were through the last century.

I want to thank many who have already allowed access to their personal photo collections, you know who you are. For the rest, if you feel that you can help, or need further information, please contact me at SCCHC via email at or by phone at 1-416-939-3111 or any of the participating organizations that form the Slovaks in Canada Exhibit initiative.

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Last update on March 15, 2002