The director and co-curator of the award-winning Organ Vida festival in Croatia – which this year devoted its programme to work by women – picks out the projects that interested her in 2018
“In the EU today, we take women’s rights for granted,” says Marina Paulenka, director of Organ Vida, a three-week international photography event held annually in Zagreb. Founded in 2008, the festival has always been driven by political context, and this year, for its 10th edition, its all-female team have chosen to emphasise female-identifying perspectives from around the globe.
“In a time of post-capitalist global turmoil, technological advancements, with the strengthening of rightwing extremism, the growing influence of religion that limits women’s rights again, and the semblance of democracy in the 21st century, we are facing a situation in which women must fight anew for the rights that had been won long ago,” Paulenka insists.
Michael Danner’s book project Migration as Avant-Garde has won the prestigious Dummy Award at the Fotobookfestival Kassel. His mock-up will now be produced and published by Kettler, Germany, the company behind Mathieu Asselin’s hit book Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation.
Born in Reutlingen, Germany in 1967, Danner studied photography at Fachhochschule Bielefeld in Germany and the University of Brighton in the UK, and lived in London from 1997 to 2000. He’s now based in Berlin, where he lectures in photography at the Berliner Technische Kunsthochschule. He has previously published three monographs and seven artist’s books.
His project “examines the new ways in which migrants are pursuing their hope for a better life”, he states, adding: “The term ‘avant-garde’ stands for progress and the way of a pioneer. Driven by the desire to give their lives meaning, and guided by their own integrity, migrants bring new perspectives and points of view to our society. The origin of his work was the reading of a 1943 text by the philosopher Hannah Arendt.”
For the past five years, Ulla Deventer has been working on a project about women and prostitution in Europe – specifically in Brussels, Athens and Paris – but also, more recently, in Ghana. Several of the women she met in the project’s early days were from West Africa, and Deventer developed close friendships with some of her subjects, who inspired her to travel to their home countries to experience first-hand what life is like for women living there.
In May 2017, Deventer, who was born in Henstedt-Ulzburg in north Germany and is now based in Hamburg, spent six weeks in Accra, the capital of Ghana, where she focused her attention on the living conditions of the city’s youth, particularly its female sex workers. She recently returned to the country to continue to work on Butterflies Are a Sign of a Good Thing – an extension of her original project.
The Guardian’s photo critic picks out his top five of the year, including Sohrab Hura’s installation The Lost Head & The Bird at The Nines, London during Peckham 24
“You’ll Know It When You Feel It feels rooted in a fundamental desire to understand members of her family and her immediate community – and to allow her audience to see these individuals in the same empathetic light.” Rosella has won first prize and £5000 in the inaugural PHmuseum Women Photographers Grant for a shot in her native Australia; the £2000 second prize went to Egyptian photographer Heba Khamis, whose project on breast ironing, Banned Beauty, was shot in Cameroon.
The international photography festival in Croatia celebrates its ninth edition, hoping to unite audiences in a ‘divided’ world with its eclectic programme, which includes a Pieter Hugo retrospective; Dana Lixenberg’s award-winning Imperial Courts; and Dragana Jurisic’s elegiac pilgrimage through the former Yugoslavia, YU: The Lost Country
The eighth Organ Vida International Photography Festival, the largest festival of contemporary photography in southeastern Europe, opens today in the Croatian capital, Zagreb.
Organ Zida, the impressive new independent photography festival from Zagreb, Croatia, has announced the ten finalists to compete in their main prize, orientated around the theme of Boundaries. Each of the finalist’s photography whose photography will be presented at the main festival exhibition, at the Klovićevi Dvori Gallery in Zagreb from the 3rd to the 18th September 2015. The exhibition is the central tenant of a diverse offering of photography from the only documentary photography festival in the Balkans. Sorting through over 300 projects from 47 countries was no small feat for the international panel of judges, consisting of photography heavyweights such as internationally-acclaimed photographer Roger Ballen, editor of Aperture magazine Michael Famighetti, Dutch photographer and publisher Rob Hornstra, Italian photographer and former World Press Photo winner Alessandro Imbriaco, British photographer Hannah Starkey and Croatian academic and photographer Sandra Vitaljić, as well as BJP editor Simon Bainbridge. Rob Hornstra says of the judging process: “The way the finalists distinguish themselves is because they go beyond registration and make a personal interpretation of theme they are working on. There is …
In only its seventh year, Organ Vida has become one of the most intriguing contemporary photography festivals in Europe. Founded as an non-profit NGO in 2009, it is the only documentary photography festival in the Balkans, taking place annually in Zagreb, Croatia, this September. While it has grown in stature—Roger Ballen, Rob Hornstra and Hannah Starkey are among the jury members this year—the team hasn’t forgotten its lo-fi roots. “In Croatia, photography wasn’t recognised as art,” says Marina Paulenka, co-founder and director of the festival. We weren’t part of an international community, we didn’t have many exhibitions, we didn’t have the platforms; we just want to make something here.” The team is frighteningly young—the oldest member hasn’t even turned 30—and draws from a pool of Croatian photographers, graphic designers and artists. The central focus of the program is the exhibition of the main finalists, but also includes lectures, round-table discussions, artist talks, creative workshops, portfolio reviews, film screenings, music and theatre performances. The Klovićevi Dvori Gallery, one of Zagreb’s largest galleries, will be the focus of …