I was nominated during Scandinavia’s first street photography festival which was held this weekend in Gothenburg, Sweden. The weekend was filled with lectures, photo shows, a cool restaurant / bar for mingling and an exhibition with a total of 120 photos that made up the nominated entries from this year’s “photo competition”.
INFO: My nominated photos, as well as some photos from the festival itself can be found at the bottom of the article!
It was competed in a total of 4 classes, single color image, single black and white image, up to 29 – which was a kind of youth class or new-comer class if you will, and finally “Collection” which was a series of images with 5- 7 photos from each participant.
I participated in the last class with the series “Notions about Moscow”. The series of 7 photos shows a kind of story from growing up as a child with the red square as a natural center of your city, to early adulthood where many end up as police or security workers, something there are very many of in Moscow. Then the series takes you on demonstration trains, as we remember it from the labor movement in the 70’s. On to the Babushkas – the Russian grandmothers and then the series ends with an iconic image of a propaganda statue from the former USSR with hammer and sickle as strong symbol.
As the title of my series says, I was preoccupied with the West’s views on governance in Russia. In our interpretive picture, I imagined a country with a lot of control. We have grown up with concepts such as “big brother sees you” and the stories about the communist neighboring country with almost total intelligence. We often have a “picture” of the Red Square and a Moscow that is strictly controlled and monitored, when we think of Russia. This is the “Russia” I was looking for. I would like to confirm my own ideas about the country. I went to document a regime I perceived as different. Those were my preconceived notions about our neighbor to the east! And I was really just going to confirm this in my motive choices. It bears the motifs of.
That said, I never felt monitored. But there was still a strong presence of police and a large degree of control. You saw it most strongly when something happened. The center of Moscow was surrounded and cordoned off with metal detectors and guards at short notice. So the pictures do not lie, but Moscow was a pure city with many qualities and in many ways similar to any city around the world in general. But photography is subjective – it’s something we photographers have to live with!
My contribution (which you can see below) was one of a total of 72 submitted entries in the class. A total of around 500 photos. Of these, 10 collections were nominated that were included in the exhibition. So I’m happy to be among the top ten nominees. A pinhole to pass in itself. Based on these 10 series, three prizes were awarded. -First, second and third prize in each category. In my class, it was the Swedish photographer Niklas Lindskog who took the first prize. The prize was a camera from Fujifilm with a price tag around 15,000 SEK.
You can see the winning collections in this class here:https://www.gothenburgstreetphotofestival.com/competition/kollektion/winners/
And below you will find some pictures from the event itself: