In 2020, the 17th edition of KAUNAS PHOTO festival was planned to celebrate the periphery, the province, the outback, l’arrière-pays. The COVID-19 pandemic and the fight against it imposed new rules and conceptions, and KAUNAS PHOTO festival invited photographers to present works to KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2020 competition on the topic “Peripheral Visions”, aiming to look at what is on the margin, just across the window or the border that we can or cannot cross, to discover the spaces, places, lands, areas that usually were in the periphery of the vision. In 2020, the festival invites to rethink what became important, what was less so, what was taken for granted or simply undermined until now.
The traditional, already the 10th KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2020 contest has attracted the interest of photographers both in Lithuania and around the world. 170 series by photographers from 38 countries were submitted to the contest. There were works presented from remote countries – Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Brazil, Chile. The most active participants in the contest were photographers from Poland (11 series), Russia (12 series), United Kingdom (13 series), USA (16 series), Germany and Italy (18 series each), and what is most gratifying to the organizers – Lithuania photographers, who submitted 19 series to the contest. This is the first time in a decade of the history of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR, that Lithuanian photographers have formed the largest group of participants.
The grand prize of the contest is a solo exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery during KAUNAS PHOTO festival and a monetary prize of 2500 EUR. Exhibitions of all other finalists will be displayed in galleries, museums and open-air spaces of Kaunas.
From July 30 to August 1 all entries were reviewed and evaluated by an international Jury panel of photography experts:
- Fred Boucher – Photaumnales festival and Usimage Biennale director (Clermont/Beauvais, France)
- Enrico Stefanelli – PhotoLux festival director (Lucca, Italy)
- Gintaras Česonis – Kaunas Photography Gallery leader (Lithuania)
- Kristine Kern – Fotografisk Center leader (Copenhagen, Denmark)
- Kristina Juraitė – KAUNAS PHOTO co-founder, professor at Vytautas Magnus University (Kaunas, Lithuania)
- Julia Durkin – Auckland Festival of Photography director (New Zealand)
- Donatas Stankevičius – KAUNAS PHOTO and Kaunas Photography Gallery curator (Lithuania)
- Adrian Wykrota – Pix.House gallery curator (Poznan, Poland)
- Mindaugas Kavaliauskas – KAUNAS PHOTO founder, curator (Lithuania)
Following the experts’ votes on all works submitted to the competition in the LensCulture system, on August 4, 2020, the joint commission of the festival KAUNAS PHOTO and Kaunas Photography Gallery gathered for a virtual meeting, the purpose of which was to approve the list of the finalists. Although the plan was to select eight finalists, due to the very dense vicinity of the shortlist (7-12th places were shared by five series, scoring 29 expert points each), the commission decided to expand the list of finalists to top ten. The three finalists were selected on the basis of the points awarded by the members of the commission in the voting system.
The ten KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award 2020 Finalists are:
- Chiara Panariti & Gianfranco Ferraro (Italy) Cronostasi
- Michał Adamski (Poland) I dyed my hair again
- Arne Piepke (Germany) Anecdotes from an unfamiliar Land
- Hannes Jung (Germany) The Wolf Is Present
- Dovilė Dagienė (Lithuania) Plant Memory / Wooden Synagogues
- Bruno Alencastro (Brazil) Obs-Cu-Ra
- Михаил Лебедев (Russia) Restaurateurs by chance
- Guillem Vidal (Spain) Forgotten playground
- Lina Margaitytė & Marius Krivičius (Lithuania) Temporarily Open
- Dillon Marsh (South Africa) Diamonds Aren’t Forever
At the end of the week, this commission will meet again, but with a different purpose – to elect the Winner of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2020. This will be done by analyzing the photographic series of the finalists presented in wide selections and high-resolution files.
KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Finalists’ exhibition openings will take place in Kaunas on September 3, 2020. The winner will be announced on the same day, September 3, when the opening series of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Finalists’ exhibition will culminate at the door of Kaunas Photography Gallery.
Founded in 2004 by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, 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.
NGO „Šviesos raštas“ is the organizer of KAUNAS PHOTO festival.
KAUNAS PHOTO 2020 main funder is Lithuanian Council for Culture.
Sponsors: Kaunas Municipality, EPSON.
KAUNAS PHOTO STAR partners: Kaunas Photography Gallery, LensCulture.