New East Photo Prize 2018
An exhibition celebrating photography from Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia
The New East Photo Prize 2018 exhibition showcases selected work by the finalists nominated for the second edition of the New East Photo Prize.
The Prize champions contemporary perspectives on the people and stories of the New East — the 29 countries of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia and Central Asia — welcoming the work of professional and non-professional photographers alike. It is a Calvert 22 Foundation initiative supported by The Calvert Journal, our award-winning online magazine dedicated to exploring the culture and creativity of the region.
This year, the biennial prize received a wide range of entries from 26 New East countries. With a multitude of works reflecting a spectrum of approaches and topics, the New East Photo Prize 2018 is a unique glimpse into the self-identity of an underrepresented region and the lives of its people.
The finalists participating in the exhibition at Calvert 22 Foundation from 12 October – 2 December 2018 are:
Antal Bánhegyesy, Orthodoxia
Vika Eksta, The Devil’s Lake
Daria Garnik, Gagarin
Ilkin Huseynov, Shared Waters
Join the Cool, Vinietka (Ukrainian graduation album)
Karol Pałka, Edifice
Lucia Sekerková, Vrăjitoare
Michał Sierakowski, Wild Fields
Michal Solarski, Infirmi
Alnis Stakle, Heavy Waters
Lana Stojićević, Sunny Side
Elena Subach and Viacheslav Poliakov, City of Gardens
Fyodor Telkov, Ural Mari
Peter Trembeczki, Victory
Adam Wilkoszarski, After Season
Boglárka Éva Zellei, Furnishing the Sacred
Bánhegyesy currently lives and works in Budapest, where he has won a number of international prizes. The project reveals links between Romanian national identity and religion, exploring the 7,000 Orthodox churches built in Romania following the fall of communism just 27 years ago.
The Devil’s Lake
Eksta is a visual artist and pedagogue interested in portraiture, performance, archival research and the border between documentary and fiction. Her project examines a mysterious lake in the middle of a forest in eastern Latvia’s Aglona region. The artist grew up close to the lake itself, but only started to photograph it in 2015. The project was first exhibited in June 2018 in Riga but remains unfinished, with plans for a photo book on the horizon.
Garnik has a degree in art criticism and has been working as a freelance photographer since 2013. Her project travels to the hometown of the first man in space — pioneering Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin — to explore the icon’s cult of personality and the town’s surreal sense of nostalgia for him.
The winner of several international prizes, Huseynov is a Baku-based photographer capturing Azerbaijan’s ever-changing landscape and modern social issues. His project travels to different spots along the Kura and Araks rivers in the south Caucasus, where issues such as water contamination, deprivation, and industrial decline blight local communities.
Join the Cool
Vinietka (Ukrainian graduation album)
The creative collective — Anastasiya Lazurenko, Kristina Podobed, Daria Svertilova and Genia Volkov — blend performance, mixed media, and non-traditional documentary and fashion photography. Their project plays with the clichés surrounding school “vignettes”: the graduation albums which school children still receive in many post-Soviet countries. The collective blends old stereotypes with their own alternative imagery, creating a touching and atmospheric picture of school life in Ukraine.
Pałka is a Polish photographer whose work has already been featured in a number of international publications. His project is a visual journey back to a time many would rather forget, documenting the architecture of Europe’s communist regimes. Once national landmarks which welcomed world leaders such as Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro, each building now tells a story about power and its impermanence.
Sekerková is a student of Advertising Photography in Zlin, Czech Republic, and the 2013 winner of the Czech Press Photo Canon Junior Award. Her project looks into the life of vrăjitoare, Romanian Roma women who identify as witches, fortune tellers, goddesses and healers. It is a business inherited across generations, with 9-year-old girls already starting their own promotional vrăjitoare profiles on social media.
Solarski is a London-based Polish photographer who divides his time between commercial and personal projects. His photography is strongly connected to his own background and experiences, concentrating on leisure, migration and memories. His project takes viewers into the world of Soviet-era sanatoriums: magnificent spas built for the workers to rest and re-energize. Though in varying states of decay, many of these amazing buildings are still functioning.
Sierakowski is a documentary photographer capturing how landscapes influence communities and the ways in which people transform environments to fit their needs. His project focuses on the relationship between Ukraine’s modern landscape and national identity as the country construct new national myths.
Stakle has exhibited widely in solo and group shows both in Latvia and internationally. He is a board member of Riga Photomonth and Professor of Photography at Riga’s Stradins University. His project studies the towns and villages across the Crimean coastline, where the slow decay of the region’s Soviet legacy is interspersed with splashes of the peninsula’s new capitalist rebirth.
Stojićević won the Metro Imaging Mentorship Award as part of the New East Photo Prize in 2016. She also won the Croatian Association of Artists’ annual award for best young artist and has been exhibited internationally. Based around the futuristic swimming pool at the Zora Hotel in Primošten, Croatia, the project creates a narrative in the style of a 60’s sci-fi film, exploring both the factual and fictional.
Elena Subach and Viacheslav Poliakov
City of Gardens
Subach and Poliakov use documentary photography to create stories about our relationship with everyday objects and places. The project travels around the Polish city of Katowice, once an industrial site, now branded a “city of gardens”, in the hopes of reflecting uniquely Polish aesthetics in an era of rapid globalisation.
Telkov is an acclaimed Yekaterinburg-based photographer and a participant in numerous international contests, exhibitions and festivals. His project looks into the contemporary lives of the Ural Mari, a people trying to preserve their ancient culture and pagan practices amid changing political regimes and forced Christianisation.
Trembeczki dedicates his work to collective memory and intergenerational issues. His project features Hungarian buildings that have either been abandoned or modified. Often grotesque, these sites have become subjects of collective remembrance: reflections of the nation’s social-political psyche.
Wilkoszarski is a documentary and landscape photographer based in Poznań, Poland. His work concentrates on how places change once abandoned and deserted by the people, and this project looks at holiday resorts suspended in time at the end of the season, when the tourists have left and beaches and hotels lie empty.
Bolgárka Éva Zellei
Furnishing the Sacred
Zellei is a photographer and visual artist based in Budapest, Hungary. Her project explores the visual language of contemporary Christian communities by documentating the act of baptism. Although the ceremony has existed for more than 2,000 years, each church and setting shows a different attitude towards religious life.
New East Photo Prize 2018
Alnis Stakle, Heavy Waters
Alongside the opportunity to have work exhibited at Calvert 22 Space in London and gain international exposure as well as feedback from industry experts, the winner of the New East Photo Prize will be offered a cash prize of £1,000 to help develop a body of work further.
Fabrika Travel Photography Prize
Karol Pałka, Edifice
This special prize is dedicated to the travel photography project that best documents the landscape, culture, people or history of a region or place. The winner will receive a five-day trip to Georgia, staying in Fabrika Tbilisi and Rooms Hotel Kazbegi, with tours of the capital and the mountains. This prize is supported by New East Photo Prize partner Fabrika, the hostel and urban hotspot in Tbilisi.
Metro Imaging Mentorship Award
Michal Solarski, Infirmi
New East Photo Prize partner Metro Imaging are delighted to offer their Mentorship Award to a selected entrant. The mentorship programme will be tailor-made to suit the needs of the artist, who will be fully supported over a 12 month period and receive £1,000 credit with Metro Imaging.
To complement the exhibition, Calvert 22 Foundation will host the New East Photo Weekend in partnership with Metro Imaging, a curated series of workshops, talks and portfolio reviews led by leading photographers and industry experts on Friday 12 October and Saturday 13 October,
See the full programme and book tickets here.
Joanna Ruck – Deputy Head of Photography at The Guardian
Marina Paulenka – Photographer and Founder and Artistic Director of the Organ Vida—International Photography Festival, Zagreb, and the Organ Vida Photography Organisation
Ekow Eshun – Creative Director of Calvert 22 Foundation
Steven Macleod – Award-winning creative director, photographer and master printer based in London, director of Metro Imaging
Markéta Kinterová – Independent artist, Creative Director of Prague-based Fotograf 07 z.s, and Head of Studio of Documentary Photography, FAMU (Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts Prague)
Dermot Doorly – Head of photography at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Ana Svanidze – Manager of Fabrika Hostel in Tbilisi, Georgia