“PRAFOTA” 2015

The award is given to documentary and art-projects made by Belarusian photographers in corresponding categories:

• Documentary Photography
• Art Photography

The jury will compose a long list of 12 photographic projects and a short-list of 6. The shortlisted projects will be published in the award’s annual catalogue and shown in the exhibition in February, 2016 in “CECH” art space in Minsk. Also one winner selected in either of the categories will be awarded a grand prix. The winners will have solo shows within “Month of Photography in Minsk” in 2016. Also, the best photographers will be given an opportunity to attend one of the international photo events: a festival, a workshop or portfolio review (later decided by the organizational committee).


Photo projects made by Belarusian photographers (including photo collectives) and completed or first published in the period of 2014-2015 are eligible to take part in the contest. Each series can have a maximum of 20 images. In each category an unlimited number of projects can be submitted. For documentary projects it is prohibited to introduce significant manipulations into the submitted images such as photomontage, visual effects, added borders and logos.

Technical requirements

• images must have a resolution of 72 dpi, image size must be – 900 pixels in length;
• each image must be saved as a separate JPEG file;
• Adobe RGB or sRGB formats are advisable for color images, Gamma 2.2 is recommended for black and white, images submitted in CMYK format will not be considered;
• image Exif file must be saved;
• every image file info must contain a detailed caption;
“File info” must be provided in 2 languages – Russian/Belarusian and English;
• image name must contain the category name, shortened series name and the image number, for example – art_children_1.jpg;
• file names must be written in Latin transcription.

Image submission

Projects must be submitted by October 20 via email: prafota@gmail.com.
Entries must include the photographer’s short biography/information on the photo collective and their contacts (email and phone numbers).


The photographer declares being the author of the photographic material submitted. If any contentious issues arise, the Contest organizers have the right to require additional proof of authorship. In case of any copyright violation, the organizational committee have right to disqualify all the photographer’s images regardless the fact whether they have been submitted or already shortlisted. In such cases the decision is taken by the organizational committee. The decision is not appealable further.

To submit the material, the photographer must be the only copyright holder or be authorized by the copyright holder in the written form.

Submitting the material the author agrees with the Contest terms granting the Contest the permission for the unlimited use of the submitted images in printed or digital versions (online, printed editions, mass media, printing production, etc) for promotion activities under the auspices of the Contest, without any remuneration being due.


We advocate for the creation of a single competitive space for communication and for enhancing visual literacy of people who practice and show interest in photography. We focus on the development of Belarusian photography by raising the standards of contemporary documentary and art photography in Belarus. Stimulating public interest in photography we strive to create favorable conditions for free exchange of information and opportunities for the growth of an active and effective interaction of Belarusian photographers, critics and photography amateurs.


Anna Shpakova (Jury chairperson)
Svetlana Poleschuk
Ken Schles
Simon Norfolk
James Wellford
George Georgiou
Barbara Stauss

Jury chairperson: Anna Shpakova is a producer, curator and photo editor. She graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University. Anna worked for Afisha, Ogoniok and Snob magazines, she was also Photodirector of RIA Novosti agency. Anna teaches at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia (Russia). She curates numerous exhibitions in Russia and abroad, she represented Russia at the biennial Photoquai 2011 in Paris. Anna is the finalist of POY Contest 2012 in nomination the best newspaper (Moskovskiye Novosti). She is a curator and photo editor of the multimedia project Grozny Nine Cities, the winner of the Bayeux-Calvados Prize for War Correspondents in the nomination web journalism.

Svetlana Poleschuk is a specialist in Cultural Studies (EHU, Minsk) and Master in Sociology and Social Anthropology (Central European University, Budapest). She studies History and Theory of Photography, including that of Belarus. Svetlana has been publishing her works in the magazines MastactvaPhotoscopeArt AktivistKulturny ZhurnalNew EuropePhotographer.RUHuliganstvujushchyi ElementFK Magazine / Fotokvartals.

Ken Schles was born in 1960 in Brooklyn, New York. He is a photographer and the author of five monographs. Exhibited by The Museum of Modern Art, noted by The New York Times Book Review and issued by some of the foremost publishers of our time, his books are considered “intellectual milestones in photography” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), “hellishly brilliant” (The New Yorker) and “insight into the mind of a great photographer” (Hotshoe). A NYFA Fellow (1989), Ken Schles has work collected in more than 100 museum and library collections throughout the world.

Simon Norfolk was born in 1963 in Lagos, Nigeria, and educated in England, finishing at Oxford and Bristol Universities with a degree in Philosophy and Sociology. His work has been widely recognized: he has won Le Prix Dialogue at Les Recontres d’Arles in 2005, The Infinity Prize from The International Center of Photography in 2004, the Foreign Press Club of America Award in 2003, and he was the winner of the European Publishing Award, 2002. In 2003 he was shortlisted for the Citibank Prize now known as the Deutsche Bourse Prize. Although self proclaimed as a Landscape photographer, his work is better described by the mantel ‘Aftermath’ photography. His work includes the depictions of landscapes in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Israel, Beirut and Auschwitz. His work is regularly published in titles that include: The Guardian Weekend (UK), ID (UK), Foto8 (UK), Camerawork (USA), Los Abgeles Times (USA), FotoMagazine (Germany), Exit (Spain). He currently lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England.

James Wellford is a photography editor, producer, curator, and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. He has collaborated on a number of award-winning projects recognized by World Press Photo, the Overseas Press Club and at the Visa Pour L’Image. Additionally, he has curated a number of exhibitions including “Under the Bridge” (reflections on Turkey’s political crisis), “Remembering Liberia” (Photoville 2013, Brooklyn, NY), “Iraq 10 Years” (Brooklyn, NY, 2013), “Projections of Reality” (Moscow), “Generation 9/11, Ten Years of War Photography after 9/11” (The Hague, the Neterlands), “Dispatch from Tohoku: Documenting the Aftermath in Japan” (New-York) and many others. James is also on the advisory board of the Photobook Museum and the organization Social Documentary Network and is the co-founder of two groups Screen and SeenUnseen. For 12 years he was the International Photo Editor at Newsweek Magazine and a contributing photo editor to Smithsonian Journeys, Foreign Policy, and CNN.

George Georgiou was born in London in 1961. He currently lives in Folkestone, England. He has photographed extensively in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Turkey, living and working in Serbia, Greece and Istanbul, Turkey from 1999 to 2009. Work from this period has resulted in The British Journal of Photography project prize 2010, two World Press Photo prizes in 2003 and 2005, Pictures of the Year International first prize in 2004. In 2010, his book “Fault Line/Turkey/East/West” was released in 4 languages. Georgiou second book “Last Stop” was released December 2014.
Georgiou’s work is collected by several institutions and private collectors, including the Museum of Modern Art, NY and the Elton John collection.

Barbara Stauss is a photo director and founding member Mare magazine. She was born and raised in Switzerland, and moved to Berlin to study Russian, and later photography and visual communication. In 1996, she was a founding member of Mare — Die Zeitschrift der Meere, a sea-themed magazine dedicated to classic photo reportage and picture essays. Since that time, Barbara has been image director at Mare, responsible for its photographic concepts and visual narratives. In 2010, she organized the re-launch of the German edition of Reporters Without Border’s annual photo book, and went on to work as project manager with the organization. She also works as a freelance editor.
Barbara curates photo exhibitions and teaches photo-editing seminars.