The Winner of the 18th KAUNAS PHOTO festival’s competition on the theme “Age”—81-year-old photographer Marna Clarke from USA

The two-day long opening events of the 18th international photo art festival KAUNAS PHOTO culminated on the evening of September 3 with the announcement of the Winner of the festival’s competition. KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2021 Award was granted to the eighty-one-year-old photographer Marna Clarke from USA and her work entitled “Growing Old”. The series will be on display in Kaunas as an outdoor exhibition at Vienybės Square until the end of October.

On September 2 and 3, the festival KAUNAS PHOTO opened exhibitions in nine indoor venues and five open-air public spaces in the city. The evening programme featured projections of works submitted to the festival’s open call on the theme of “Age”, a screening of the photographs from the series “Do Not Forget, You Are Not In Lithuania” by Martha Thomas (USA), accompanied by the readings of her aunt’s Daina Klimauskaitė’s memoirs of the youth spent in deportation in Siberia. The memoirs were read by the Lithuanian theatre and cinema actress Olita Dautartaitė, in presence of Daina Klimauskaitė herself and the author Martha Thomas, who is currently visiting Lithuania.

The Finalists of the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR competition greeted the audience via remote video conference, and after the screening of their series, the founder and art director of the festival Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, and the head of the Kaunas Photography Gallery, who is also a member of the the international and local KAUNAS PHOTO STAR jury panel, Gintaras Česonis, announced the Winner of the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2021 Award—Marna Clarke (USA) with her series of photographs “Getting Old”.

“On my 70th birthday, I woke from a dream in which I had rounded a corner and seen the end. This disturbing dream moved me to begin photographing the two of us, chronicling our time of growing old,” says the photographer about her work submitted to the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR competition on the theme “Age”, and hopes that her photographs will help others to come to terms with the inevitable future and to feel more comfortable in their own old age.

© Marna Clarke (JAV) “Growing old”

A total of eight series of the Finalists were shortlisted to compete for the main prize of the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2021 competition: “The Animal Within” by Fábio Cunha (Portugal), “Grandma Divers” by Alain Schroeder (Belgium), “Cut It Short” by Michal Solarski & Tomasz Liboska (United Kingdom / Poland), “The Suspended Youth” by Rosa Mariniello (Italy), “±100” by Magdalena Stengel (Germany), “Belles Mômes” by Clelia Rochat (Belgium), “Do Not Forget, You Are Not In Lithuania” by Martha Thomas (USA) and the wining series “Growing Old” by Marna Clarke (USA) with, who will receive a 2500 EUR cash prize. The works of all Finalists are integrated into the festival programme and are shown in the galleries and cultural venues of Kaunas as well as in the city’s open-air spaces.

The exhibitions of the 18th KAUNAS PHOTO festival can be found here, and the continuously updated events calendar here.

KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest running annual international photo art festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. The festival founded by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas in 2004 is organized by the public institution “Šviesos raštas”. KAUNAS PHOTO is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture as one of the strategic international art events in Lithuania.