In 1987, the human rights group Helsinki-86 started to publish the periodical Auseklis (Morning Star). It was the first uncensored periodical in Latvia since 15 May 1934 (since the authoritarian coup by Kārlis Ulmanis). It aimed to be an 'independent socio-political, literary and religious magazine'. Since photocopiers were rare and were controlled by the KGB, one of the best ways to make copies for distribution was to take photographss. Vaira Strautniece (b. 1942) was a professional photographer who worked in the photography and film unit of the Academy of Sciences in the 1980s. Her colleague Zigurds Vidiņš (b. 1943) asked her to make 20 copies of each issue. She kept one copy for herself, and handed over the remaining 19 to Vidiņš, who looked after the distribution of the magazine. Vaira Strautniece was one of numerous people who were involved in the distribution of Auseklis.