- Date of birth
Jindřich Štreit is a Czech photographer renowned for his black-and-white images documenting life in his country’s rural communities. Born in 1946, Štreit studied pedagogy and art education. He began photographing everyday life while working as an elementary school teacher and later as a principal in villages in the northeast corner of the Czech Republic. He also took on the role of town chronicler and organized various cultural events, including film screenings, concerts, and art exhibitions.
In the 1970s Štreit enrolled in a program at the Institute of Art Photography in Brno, producing a series of behind-the-scenes images of theatrical productions as his thesis project. In 1982, Štreit participated in a group exhibition titled Setkání (Meeting) that was not sanctioned by the totalitarian government. Authorities shut down the exhibition and arrested Štreit, sentencing him to probation. He lost his job and was officially banned from exhibiting his photographs, though he continued to participate in underground cultural events.
Štreit’s sentence was annulled after the restoration of democracy in 1989. He began to travel and exhibit abroad while expanding the scope of his subjects, photographing people in rural communities around the world. Štreit continues to be a leading practitioner of documentary photography in central Europe, and works as a lecturer and professor of photography at various schools in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.