NGO Šviesos raštas, seeking to attract artists not only to Lithuanian cities, but also countryside, is running an international photograpers residency scheme in Lithuanian regions. The goals of the project are to interest and encourage artists to explore Lithuanian landscape, culture, social questions, everyday joys and challenges. Over August and September, artists will stay in Lithuania for periods of 2- 3 weeks: Mikołaj Nowacki (Poland) will reside in Prienai, Julia Baier (Germany) will explore Druskininkai, and Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo (Colombia) will stay in Veisiejai.
Visiting artists will explore topics of cultural identity, collaborating with local communities, cultural centres and schools. During their time in Lithuania, the artists will work together with locals covering topics of famous local artists and personalities, regional celebrations, social theme and legends. At the start of their stay, the artists will present their practice in local schools or cultural centres, and the end they will present their residency results. The works made in Lithuania will feature in exhibitions and other art events. The works made in Lithuania will bring together local communities, local youth groups and will spread the word about the Lithuanian towns and villages in the international photography scene.
Mikołaj Nowacki was born in Wroclaw, Poland in 1972. He is a graduate of the University of Wroclaw, where he obtained a law degree in 1997. Nowacki then began Ph.D. studies, pursuing a doctoral thesis that examined environmental aspects of International Space Law. However, Nowacki discontinued his studies to focus on his other passion, photography.
During 2004 – 2006 he worked as a photojournalist with Poland’s most influential daily, Gazeta Wyborcza. He also worked with Finland’s national paper the Helsingin Santomat. In 2006- 2011 Nowacki worked for a daily, Polska the Times. Nowacki’s photographs have been published in Polish editions of National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Newsweek and the Polish weekly magazine Polityka as well as international publications such as Burn Magazine, the Sunday Times Magazine, Le Monde, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Weekly Magazine in Shanghai, China and in the New York Times’ Lens.
Nowacki has won numerous awards and has been a finalist in Polish photo competitions such as Grand Press Photo and BZWBK; and in 2012 he received Special Mention in the international photo competition, Winephoto. In 2014, his pictures of New York were shortlisted at the Sony World Photography Awards and one of these won an Honorable Mention in NPPA Best of Photojournalism.
From 2011 – 2013, Nowacki was mentored by Antonin Kratochvil at the VII Photo Agency’s Mentor Program.
In 2011, he took part in a group exhibition, iSee with VII photographers at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Boston, USA and in 2013 in Queretaro, Mexico.
In 2013, Nowacki had his solo exhibition “Odra” at the VII gallery in New York.
In 2014, Nowacki’s “Odra” was exhibited in China during the Xishuangbanna Photo Festival. He received there a “Nomination for the Best Photographers” as one of the ten best photographers of the festival.
German artist Julia Baier will reside in Druskininkai until the end of September. Swimming and diving, splashing and spraying, paddling and flotation – for almost 20 years now Julia has been to just about every place where you can get wet: lakes and beaches, swimming and paddling pools, saunas, hot springs and sentos, from Japan to Hungary, from Iceland to Germany. This journey around the globe is an anthem to the element water, and to all those who get pleasure and benefit out of it.
“Julia Baier has been travelling around the world for the past two decades photographing the relationship in between humans and water. This is a long term project titled “The Importance of Water” that will result in a photo book after Druskininkai residency. The works made in Druskininkai will made up an important part of the publication” said NGO Šviesos Raštas director Mindaugas Kavaliauskas.
Julia Baier studied first psychology and French at Bremen University and then photography at the Bremen University of the Arts. She lives and works as a freelance photographer in Berlin. She has exhibited her photographs in numerous national and international group and solo exhibitions. Her works won multiple awards and granted her various scholarships (extract: 2.prize European Architecture Photography Award 2015; nomination for the World Press Masterclass 2004; BFF Promotion Award 2003; one of the top 10 entrants for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2003). Julia currently works for different national and international magazines and newspapers and has been teaching photography. She has already released several books: Sento (2008), Water Matters (2013) and In Tune – Variations on an Orchestra (2015), all published with peperoni books Berlin.
Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo studied Architecture in National University of Colombia and masters in Photography and Urban Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is a member of Collective +1, CROMA and Fujifilm’s X-Photographer. He has worked on projects in South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and USA, exhibited in over 80 solo and group exhibitions: CLAP! 10×10 Contemporary Latin America Photobooks: 2000-2016; Trasatlántica-PhotoEspaña, Fototeca de Cuba, 42 Salón Nacional de Artistas, #20FotógrafosAmazonas/Tlacotalpan, DRCLAS-Harvard University and MIT. He won First Prize in Portfolio Review Festival de la Luz-Fotográfica 2015, Buenos Aires and Future Memories-IDARTES. Was awarded a honorable mention at FUTURA Felifa, Feria de Fotolibros de Autor (FOLA/TURMA) Prize. Finalist of Cosmos Arles Book PDF Award 2017, FIEBRE Dummy Award 2017 and FLIP Photobook Award 2016. Selected for HYDRA’s Photobook Incubator, México.
Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo has participated in photography festivals in Istanbul, Venice, Lima, Paraty, Valparaíso, San José, San Salvador, Querétaro, London and Beijing. Santiago has photographed for Villegas Editores, UNHCR, OXFAM, MFO-Egypt, ICIPE-Kenya, Facebook. Ran workshops for Zona Cinco, NatGeoStudentExpeditions, Banco de la República, Don Bosco, Roberto Mata Taller de Fotografía.
He published books: Solidarity In Colombia-Villegas Editores, White Elephant, London Gap My Mind. He is a director of COLOMBIA, tierra de luz.
Mindaugas Kavaliauskas also notices, that Santiago’s unique way of working really compliments the community feel of the regions he visits, often working with light painting and installation. Works that may seem decorative at first, talk about struggles, conflict, peace making and optimism in a local context.