KAUNAS PHOTO 2019 “Digital-Virtual-Real” opening day

On September 5, 2019, KAUNAS PHOTO festival kicked-off with “Digital-Virtual-Real” thematic exhibition openings.

At 5 pm the exhibition was opened in the Museum of Lithuanian Education History. The works of 2 artists are showcased in the Museum:

Diogo Maya (Portugal) “Signs of Life”
Henrik Kam (USA) “Mandalas for Planet Earth”

At 6 pm the exhibition was inaugurated at M. Žilinskas Art Gallery. The Gallery hosts the largest part of the program, featuring 10 international photographers and artists:

Hannes Wiedemann (Germany) “Grinders”
Irina Popova (Russia / The Netherlands) “The Incomplete Princess Book”
Michele Borzoni (Italy) “Workforce. Call Centers + Logistic Centers”
Travis Hodges (UK) “The Quantified Self”
Larson & Shindelman (USA) “Geolocation: #Gratitude”
Heinrich Holtgreve (Germany) “Internet as a place”
Damien Berney (Switzerland) “Scrolldown”
Dávid Biró (Hungary) “Front End”
Elizabeth Claffey (USA) “The Ordinary and the Domestic”
Nigel Dickinson (UK) “China Big Brother”

The day culminated with KAUNAS PHOTO NIGHT at 10 pm in the summer terrace “Laukas”, where projections of photographs were shown and artists participating in the festival talked about their work. 8 international artists visiting the festival presented their works: Agata Wieczorek (Poland), Paulo Simão (Portugal), Kai Löffelbein (Germany), Marko Zink (Austria), Maxime Matthys (Belgium), John Angerson (UK), Irina Popova (Russia / The Netherlands), Diogo Maia (Portugal).

The night concluded with an intriguing live-coding performance. Guoda Kaminskė and Andrius Palivonas shared their musical experiments and hypnotizing visuals accompanied by an electric guitar.

The festival’s opening events resumed the following day with portfolio reviews and “KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Finalists” exhibition openings across 5 venues in Kaunas old town. The route finished at Kaunas photography gallery with the announcement of the Winner of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award.

KAUNAS PHOTO’19 exhibitions can be visited from September 5 to October 6. Outdoor exhibitions are on display until October 31.

Finalists Announced – KAUNAS PHOTO 2019 Open Call & KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award

The call closed, congratulations to the finalists:
Kai Löffelbein (Germany) “Ctrl-X. a topography of e-waste”
Maxime Matthys (Belgium) “2091 : The Ministry of Privacy”
Christopher Sims (USA) “Theater of War: The Pretend Villages of Iraq and Afghanistan”
Samuel W. J. Fordham (UK) “C-R92/BY”
Marko Zink (Austria) “Mauthausen – The Eradication of Memories”
John Angerson (UK) “On this Day”
Agata Wieczorek (Poland) “Simulation Centers”
Paulo Simão (Portugal) “Goodbye Pyongyang”

The winner will be announced on September 6, during the opening of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Finalists’ exhibition.
See you in Kaunas!

KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest-running annual photographic festival in the Baltic States, based in Kaunas, Lithuania, since 2004. Maintaining its strong international character, KAUNAS PHOTO is a platform of priemieres of emerging talents.

KAUNAS PHOTO festival announces an Open Call for its 16th edition, inviting photographers to propose their works and offering exhibiting opportunities as well as participation at New KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award, consisting of a solo exhibition at the largest photography gallery in the Baltic States, Kaunas Photography Gallery and a 2500 EUR monetary prize.

KAUNAS PHOTO festival opening events will start on September 5 and 6, 2019.

Who can submit? What works are expected?

For inclusion into the festival, works on the theme “Digital – Virtual – Real”, exploring the lifestyles impacted by digital technologies, are welcome. All styles, genres of photography focusing on processes, consequences of digitized lifestyle, data flow, communication, cyber-crime and -security, machine learning, surveillance, automation, etc. Works created benefitting of digital technologies, such as VR, AR are equally welcome.

KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Award is topic free. Any solidly built photographic story or a robust conceptual, aesthetic work presentable in a series of 12-15 images is accepted. If video, VR, AR materials submitted, or they are inseparable part of a project, the set of 12-15 static images must be accompanied by links to youtube or vimeo addresses, included in the description of work. Images can be screenshots or views of exhibition installations. No single images, please.

All Photographers/Artists, regardless of their age, nationality and place of residence are invited to submit work. KAUNAS PHOTO festival is known for its focus on documentary, but all styles, genres and approaches to photography are accepted and exhibited. Both completed works and those in progress can are welcomed.

Photographers/Artists with KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award in focus, should ask themselves – “is my work ready for a space of 200 square metres?”.

If Photographers / Artists wish that their works remain unpublished until the festival a „DO NOT SHARE ON SOCIAL NETWORKS“ note should be included.

(Extended) Deadline – July 19, 2019, 23:59 entrant’s local time.

Photographers/Artists are encouraged to enter works as early as possible, since the festival curatorial team will be reviewing and studying submissions as soon as they will be arriving.

Entry consists of:

  • title of the work;
  • 12-15 images (2400 px on the longer side, JPG 90% quality);
  • short description of the work (up to 250 words);
  • short written BIO (up to 250 words), follwed by photographer’s contacts: email, phone number/s, mailing address.
  • Non-refundable entry fee of 25 EUR, per series entered, payable at the time of submission. No more than two series per artist.
    For the best of understanding, texts must be in English.
    Entries via LensCulture.com only. Direct link >> https://www.lensculture.com/competitions/kaunas-2019/events

Thematic program and a topic-free competition

Photographers/Artists submitting works to Open Call can be enrolled in Kaunas Photo 2019 in the following ways:

  • [entries on the theme “Digital – Virtual – Real”] can be included into KAUNAS PHOTO festival program: Outdoor exhibitions, presented in squares in Kaunas, Exhibitions in galleries and Projection events; the central thematic exhibition at the M.Žilinskas Art Gallery of the National M.K.Čiurlionis Art Museum and other museum/gallery spaces;
  • [theme not obligatory] KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award – Finalist’s and Winner’s exhibitions.

Third is the team of decision-making curators on the Jury panel, who will review all entries and eventually give them exposure through their platforms, institutions and networks.

The New KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award with 2500 EUR prize

The KAUNAS PHOTO STAR tradition started in 2010, awarding the best participant of portfolio reviews with a solo exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery and paying respect to a probable future star of photography. Since 2018, the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Winner also receives a 2500 EUR prize. Possible income tax obligations, eventually imposed by the country of citizenship of the Winner, will be his/her responsibility. In Lithuania, this prize is tax-exempt.

Open Call from KAUNAS PHOTO festival is followed by the Jury work that will select the shortlist of Finalists. All the shortlisted Photographers/Artists will have their exhibitions at the festival in 2019. The number of Finalists will be recommended by the festival and decided by the Jury. The Winner, selected from the Finalists by a joint board of curators of KAUNAS PHOTO festival and Kaunas Photography Gallery, will celebrate his/her exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery and receive the monetary prize. The decision regarding the Winner cannot be appealed.

The exhibitions of both, Finalists’ and the Winner’s works will open on Friday, September 6, 2019. The KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Winner is only revealed upon opening of the doors of Kaunas Photography Gallery.

Every KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Finalist agrees:

  • to provide the festival with a set of 20 – 35 digital files of print quality and additional materials, if needed: texts, materials for installations, etc. The materials will serve for detailed assessment of projects in the progress of selection of the Winner, as well as for the production of the exhibition, if such decision is taken between KAUNAS PHOTO festival and the Photographer/Artist;
  • to provide information about existing physical exhibitions of works submitted to the Open Call and technical data for logistics, insurance. Based on designated exhibition spaces and other criteria, the festival will either cover the transportation and insurance fees of existing exhibition or produce the exhibition in Lithuania from digital files, provided by the Photographer/Artist;
  • to propose possible ways of exhibiting his or her work, but accept the final decisions of the exhibition architects of KAUNAS PHOTO festival;
  • that no site-specific or content informtion about Finalists’ exhibitions will be disclosed until the date and hours of the exhibition openings.

Every KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Finalist is entitled to:

  • a travel allowance of up to 150 EUR, in return to proof of travel expenses, such as tickets, invoices, receipts of payment, bearing amounts paid, dates of travel, name of the traveller. The allowance is payable during / after the visit to Kaunas. Citizens of European Union countries will receive travel allowance payments via bank transfers;
  • a minimum of two nights of hotel accommodation in Kaunas at a hotel booked by the festival.

The KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Winner receives:

  • a solo exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery (200 sq. metres), produced or, if exhibition exists and responds to necessary criteria, transported and ensured at expense of KAUNAS PHOTO festival;
  • a monetary prize of 2500 EUR, payable to the Winner’s bank account, after the opening of the exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery, but not later than October 31, 2019.

Jury Members:

  • Fred Boucher – Photaumnales festival and Usimage Biennale (Clermont/Beauvais, France), Director
  • Claude Goulet Photo Gaspésie (Quebec, Canada), Director
  • Ieva Meilutė-Svinkūnienė Independent Curator (Vilnius, Lithuania)
  • Anna Dannemann – The Photographers’ Gallery (London, UK), Senior Curator
  • Grzegorz Jarmocewicz InterPhoto festival (Bialystok, Poland), Art Director
  • Kristin KernFotografisk Center (Copenhagen, Denmark), Director
  • Donatas StankevičiusKaunas Photography Gallery (Lithuania), Curator
  • Gintaras ČesonisKaunas Photography Gallery (Lithuania), Director
  • Mindaugas Kavaliauskas – KAUNAS PHOTO festival (Lithuania), Founder & Director

Previous Winners of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award
who have held their exhibitions at Kaunas Photography Gallery:

  • Simon Menner (Germany, 2018)
  • Mayumi Suzuki (Japan, 2017)
  • Julien Lombardi (France, 2016)
  • Jeniffer Thoreson (USA, 2015)
  • Andrejs Strokins (Latvia, 2013)
  • Andrei Liankevich (Belarus, 2012)
  • Luca Zanier (Switzerland, 2011)
  • Eric Lusito (France, 2010)

Simon Menner’s opening speech in his exhibition at KAUNAS PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY. September 1, 2018 © Gintarė Žaltauskaitė

Inclusion into KAUNAS PHOTO festival program

If selected to exhibit at KAUNAS PHOTO festival, Photographers/Artists will be contacted personally. Their names will not appear on KAUNAS PHOTO web site until the announcement of the program of the festival.

In most cases, the works are produced to match site-specific settings at the expense of the festival. If the artists’ works are available to be transported, are in reasonable distance within the EU and match the general idea of exhibition and space in Kaunas, the festival covers transportation and insurance of works.

Non-Finalist artists, included in the KAUNAS PHOTO festival program, are entitled to a hotel accommodation for at least 2 days in Kaunas (at festival’s chosen hotel), only in cases when they are available to be present at exhibition openings or purposely arranged guided tours. A modest contribution to travel costs is offered to all participants of exhibitions, payable after the completion of the trip to Kaunas and based on invoices, receipts.

KAUNAS PHOTO 2019 Timetable

June 14 – July 19, 23:59 – Entrant’s local time – Open Call for entries;
July 23 – Announcement of the Shortlist of Finalists on KaunasPhoto.com and festival’s social profiles
August 2last day for Finalists to transfer 30-40 hi-res images to the festival for exhibition preparations;
From end of June – outdoor exhibitions across Kaunas;
September 5– Openings of exhibitions on the topic “Digital – Virtual – Real”
September 6 – Openings of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 exhibition, including the Winner
Until October 6, 2019 – Artist talks, screenings, educational events.

Author’s rights and other legal aspects

While submitting works to the KAUNAS PHOTO 2019 open call via LensCulture, a photographer declares that he/she is the only owner of the economic author’s rights to the pictures submitted. Photographer agrees that the pictures submitted can be reproduced in materials and forms of artistic or media presentation of KAUNAS PHOTO festival outcomes, such as flyers, invitation cards, post cards, posters, catalogs, projections, slideshows, web sites, including but not limited to that of KAUNAS PHOTO festival for unlimited time in unlimited territory without any royalty payments. Entrants accept their responsibility for the right to the image of persons, models, places, objects or trade marks appearing in the pictures submitted to KAUNAS PHOTO festival.

KAUNAS PHOTO festival does not limit the photographers’ /artists’ moral or economic rights to promote, broadcast, exhibit, publish and sell their works submitted to KAUNAS PHOTO festival’s Open Call.

Prints produced by KAUNAS PHOTO festival, can be either left at the festival’s collection or destroyed after the exhibition, based on the decision of the Photographer/Artist.

In 2017, ”The Nemunas Journey” exhibition by Vitus Saloshanka (Belarus/Germany), partly created during two Residencies provided by KAUNAS PHOTO (2015 and 2017), after the first show during the festival in 2017, was presented at Prienai Cultural Centre and Prospektas Gallery of Photography in Vilnius, with artist being present to all opening events, trips & accommodation covered by the inviting parties. In 2019, this exhibition goes to “InterPhoto” festival in Bialystok, Poland. The artist is reinvited. This is just one example of works living on after KAUNAS PHOTO.

About KAUNAS PHOTO festival

KAUNAS PHOTO aims to be the stage for the future stars of photography. Being a part of Photo Festival Union and Festivals Of Light Organization, KAUNAS PHOTO festival is the longest-running photographic festival in the Baltic states is a platform for dialogue around contemporary photographic creation between North and South, East and West.

KAUNAS PHOTO is co-funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture and Kaunas Municipality.
KAUNAS PHOTO STAR partners: Kaunas Photography Gallery, LensCulture.

Enter works until July 19, 2019 (23:59 your local time) via LensCulture

LensCulture is a global community of photographers and industry professionals. As one of the world’s largest online destinations for discovering contemporary photography, LensCulture also provides some of the best opportunities for global exposure, international recognition, ongoing learning and creative development. LensCulture is committed to inspiring and empowering its thriving community of over 2.5 million, across 145 countries and in 15 languages around the world.



The 14th edition of KAUNAS PHOTO festival, this year exploring the theme of water, invites to greet autumn in the biggest photography night in the city. On the 1st of September, Friday, the works of this year’s participating artists will be presented on a big screen in Kaunas castle amphitheater.

© Mayumi Suzuki

The event will last for 2 hours and will feature works by the TOP 16 artists selected from the open call, that attracted more than 200 applications: Barry Rosenthal (USA) “Found in Nature”, Jorge Fuembuena (Spain) “The End of Cathedrals”, Elina Ruka (Latvia/ USA) “Aqueous”, Giovanni Presutti (Italy) “Plastic Islands”, Jorma Mueller (Finland/ Switzerland) “Their Souls run Beneath”, César Dezfuli (Spain) “Passengers”, Andrey Semyonov (Russia) “Invasion”, Turi Calafato (Italy) “Day at the Beach. Summer in Sicily”, Päivi Koskinen (Finland) “Monday”, Mayumi Suzuki (Japan) “Restoration Will”, Jan Caga (Czech Republic) “Danube – the Blue River”, Yan Wang Preston (UK) “Mother River”, Pierfrancesco Celada (Italy) “#Instagrampier, Hong Kong”, John Trotter “No agua no vida”, Tymon Markowski (Poland) “Flow”, Justyna Mielnikiewicz (Poland/Georgia) “Ukraine runs through it”.

© Tymon Markowski


© Dorota Dawidowicz

Polish photography that makes up a significant part of this year’s festival will also be presented: Mikolaj Nowacki “Odra”, Pawel Piotrowski “River Surfers”, Justyna Mielnikiewicz “Ukraine runs through it”. A separate part of the projections will be dedicated to the exhibition “Polish Waters” that will open in POST gallery on the 19th of September: Tymon Markowski “Flow”, Dorota Dawidowicz “Relax”, Krzysztof Racoń “Disappearing Lakes”, Filip Cwik “Sinking Industry”, Kuba Kaminski “Sobering Chamber”, Adam Wilkoszarski “After Season”.

© Yan Wang Preston

Mid evening the presentation of photography works about rivers will take place: Federico Rios Escobar (Colombia) “FARC”, Jan Caga (Czech Republic) “Danube- the Blue River”, John Trotter (USA) “No agua No Vida”, Mathieu Nonnenmacher (France) “Light the River”, Mikolaj Nowacki (Poland) “Odra”, Yan Wang Preston (UK) “Mother River”. Rivers have always been the places where people settled, as they provided transport and a source of food. The selected authors’ works present a wide selection of river related issues in the context of ecology, urban planning and politics.

© Gideon Mendel

The main focus of the evening is Gideon Mendel’s (South Africa/ UK) a video exhibition “Drowning World”, Matjaž Krivic “Lithium, the driving force of the 21st century”, Christian Åslund (Sweden) “Glacier comparison – Svalbard”.

© Paolo Woods & Gabriele Galimberti

KAUNAS PHOTO outdoor exhibitions also feature in the projection night, showcasing “The Heavens. Annual report” by Paolo Woods (Haiti) & Gabriele Galimberti (Italy).

The main events of the 14th edition of KAUNAS PHOTO festival will start on the first week of September and will continue until the end of October.

KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest- running annual photography festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. It is organised by the NGO “Šviesos raštas” since 2004. KAUNAS PHOTO is one of the most important annual art events in the country. KAUNAS PHOTO is a member of “Festival Of Light” organisation.

Main sponsors: Lithuanian Culture Council, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Kaunas city council.

Festival’s Polish photography programme is supported by Polish Institute in Vilnius and Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw.

Patron of the festival is President Valdas Adamkus.

Free entrance.