The organizing committee of PRAFOTA project photography contest is happy to announce the long-list of 2015 award candidates. On December, 15 (attention, the date is approximate) the short list is going to be announced and Gran Prix in each of the nominations will be awarded.
Both in M. Parr’s and R. Vikšraitis’s photographs one can see shocking extremes of the grotesque, the manifestation of strange forms which they choose, symbols and unusual perspectives. All of these elements respond to the basic power of artists and a message which they sent to encode to the viewers – a reflection of real life.
Using her own photographs, “video quotes” and drawings, Marina Drozza-Sobowska tells intimate stories in two registers: the real and the imaginary. She puts both versions together thus making the real and the imaginary interact with each other. The outcome can be seen both as a ‘mystification’ and as fragments of a psychoanalytic search.
In his series “Apparitions”, Gustavo Sagorsky searches for this spiritual sustenance, and indeed seeks to capture the spirit that infuses his world with joy. Although quiet and at times austere, these images nevertheless seem to embody Sagorsky’s delight in discovering the visual serendipities that enrich our daily experience.
For the first time Jury Vasiljeǔ’s exhibition will present him not only as a photographer but also as a person who participated in creating of institutions and forming of the environment of amateur photography in Belarus.
A lecture-presentation by the curator of “C/O Berlin” Ann-Christin Bertrand “C/O Berlin. Diversity and Equality — Straight Forward”
The lecture presents the particular history and programme of C/O Berlin, and gives an insight into how a formerly private institution became a non-profit foundation and is succeeding in financing itself by a carefully planned exhibition programme and a diverse system of sponsoring and marketing.
In “People in the Dunes” Latvian photographer Andrejs Strokins explores the boundaries between the urban environment and wild nature in the vicinity of Bolderāja and Daugavgrīva districts in the periphery of Riga, a few kilometers away from the Gulf of Riga.
In the project “How I die” I asked my participants to imagine a situation where they have a choice of where, when and how to leave. Speaking about their last minutes, people turned to the most important things in life, exposing their true values and desires.
Photographer Alexander Vasukovich spent a year studying the problem of domestic violence in Belarus. The exhibited portraits of thirteen clients of the public association “Radislava” are among the results of his work; this organization was established twelve years ago by women who had suffered from regular domestic violence to help other women in similar situation.
Young Russian couples, inhabitants of Saint-Petersburg and Moscow, are sleeping in their bedrooms early in the morning, the time when people don’t really care about their appearance, being natural. They are preparing to become parents in few months, and the project investigates not only their attitude to each other during the period of expecting a baby, but also the way young families live in big cities of modern Russia, 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the country that will be known to their children only from history books.
In March 2014 the tension between Russia and Ukraine started to grow high, inspired by the informational war on the situation in the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. Citizens of both countries started to loose the desire to understand each other. Romanova asked different people who took part in the revolution in Kiev at the Square of Independence, to remember words which are absolutely the same both in Russian and Ukrainian languages and illustrate these words for the photographs — to make a sort of ABC, based on the idea that understanding starts from language, and language starts from alphabet.
The photographic exhibition WILD takes an ironic look at today’s preoccupation with our oldest companion and adversary. In an enthralling mix of fear and fascination, sentiment and horror, it reminds us that we are all just small bits in the great mosaic of nature, an integral part of the never-ending cycle of becoming and decaying, of eating or being eaten.
I started shooting a project on the Belarusian agro towns driven by the desire to understand my generation and that youth who stayed in villages, my peers who participate in the state program “Rural Development”. I wanted to rethink the choices that were made by me and by them.
Prompted by personal experiences, the young photographers Iveta Vaivode and Daniel Seiffert document remote areas of Europe in their photographic series – Pilcene in Latvia and Lübbenau in East Germany. They both follow the traces of a state of uncertainty; a vacuum of standstill and retreat that renounces any belief in progress and at the same time develops its own unique strength due to a certain timelessness.
Pavel Ciškoǔski’s creativity suggests the intimacy of expression, a confidential lyrical and face to face dialogue with nature in search for that very ‘moment of truth’, which defines the line between the genuine and candy-box beauty and lets us recognize the artist’s works due to the style characteristic only to him.
Over several years I photographed the place and the daily life of the residents – and especially of Natacha, who set the rhythm of my visits. Implicitly, and without my realising it, she became the main strand in my narrative and in my desire to be there and stay there. She embodies the quintessence of these communal worlds and the magnetism of a city that has been gnawing at me for so many years.
“The World around Us” is the 1st National Photo Contest for Children and Adolescents, held by “Sviatlasila” photoclub (Pastavy). It was first held in 2013, and it keeps attracting new and regular participants.
With a flair for details, his ostensibly documentary style captures the social realities in a narrative, undogmatic, systematic manner. The photographs juxtapose the parallel worlds of Latvia’s post-socialist housing estates with Germany’s urban housing projects.
It is the phenomenon of different qualities of perception that drives the artist Manuel Schroeder in his work. His main focus is the symbolic power of the seemingly self-evident. The project focuses on special places, whose meaning has changed in recent years.
“Signatures of War” is a project about people and their destinies. The destinies that have been irreversibly changed by the Second World War. These people gave their best years to the war. They went through it, lost friends and relatives and returned back alive to their empty homes to start life anew.
“Order as social form” is a current part of Manuel Schroeders lectures in “social photography”, a field of research he is realizing with universities, schools, art societies and museums since 2006.
What Józef Sołowiejczyk and Bolesław Augustis have in common is that they both photographed Białystok. And neither of them limited himself to work in a photo studio, although it was their main source of subsistence. There’s one more link between them: Sołowiejczyk was the first to photograph Białystok, and Augustis finished this chapter in the Białystok history in 1939. Thus, their creative work defined an epoch in the history of Białystok photography.
The project is dedicated to winners of various state and local competitions held between 2010-2013 and supported by the Belarusian authorities. The list of the winners also includes the best of the best in contests promoting beauty or public space maintenance.
PRAFOTA Contest of Art and Documentary Photo Projects call is open for submitting applications. The award for art and documentary photo projects made by Belarusian photographers is given in two categories: Documentary Photography and Art Photography. The Contest results will be announced in early November.
The roundtable participants discuss the situation on the current market and the field of photography, namely its economy and photographers’ working conditions, referring to such aspects as cooperation with media, inclusion into the art market, creation and printing of photobooks and self-publishing, creation of photo collectives, as well as possibilities and limitations related with it.
14 photo-stories made by young belarusian photographers during educational course “Catch the moment!” about love and faith, self-sacrificingness and will power, nonstop action and loneliness, fortitude and perfection.
“FASHION IS MY PASSION” presents a first attempt to look at the history of the Belarusian fashion through a collection of personal stories and memories (by means of narratives) the active participants of those events share. How was the Belarusian fashion industry functioning in the period from the 1970s to the 1990s, and who was at its origin?
Artists of the group declare the disappointment in the contemporary art which shows “wording elegance and total absence of content at the same time”. The best world exhibition halls, museums and galleries promote this art, raising its status and ratings. Anyway, according to the artists, the right place of such an art is in the trash or in the toilet.
The exhibition presents the best preserved photographs of Witkacy, created in the first 30 years of his life until his father’s death, as well as photographs of the twenty year interwar period, when Witkiewicz created his major literary, dramatic and philosophical works and paintings. In terms of formal solutions they are innovative and are ahead of their time and are simply attractive for the audience in the background of “the vogue of photography”.
The post-Soviet media market is not yet ready to transform and adopt projects that do not belong to the usual categories of photography or documentary. These works are personal experiments of photographers who put their own resources and means to use the new media in search of their audience and a new sound of the projects.