In 2021, KAUNAS PHOTO festival turns eighteen, and enters the adult age. Therefore, the festival invited the photographers to submit entries to the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2021 contest on the theme “Age” and waited for works relating to general or specific aspects of choices of life, crisis, joys, traditions, stereotypes, taboos, social norms and implications of big data society on age groups.
The traditional KAUNAS PHOTO STAR competition, which is now happening for the eleventh year, received 115 series from 43 countries around the world, including entries from distant countries such as Mexico, Iraq, Australia, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Participants are competing for the grand prize of the competition – a solo exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery during the KAUNAS PHOTO festival and a cash prize of 2500 EUR. All other finalists will have their exhibitions shown in galleries, museums and open-air spaces of Kaunas.
All entries were reviewed and evaluated by an international Jury panel of photography experts:
- Yan QI – deputy director of Three Shadows Photography Art Centre (Beijing, China)
- Fred Boucher – Photaumnales festival and Usimage Biennale Director (Clermont/Beauvais, France)
- Thomas Schirmboeck – ZEPHYR- Raum für Fotografie, Leader (Mannheim, Germany)
- Gintaras Česonis – Kaunas Photography Gallery, Leader (Lithuania
- Anna Dannemann – The Photographers’ Gallery, Senior Curator (London, UK)
- Julia Durkin – Auckland Festival of Photography director (New Zealand
- Kristina Juraitė – KAUNAS PHOTO co-founder, professor at Vytautas Magnus University (Kaunas, Lithuania)
- Donatas Stankevičius – KAUNAS PHOTO and Kaunas Photography Gallery curator (Lithuania)
- Mariusz Forecki – Pix.House gallery, Co-Founder (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 July 9, 2021, the joint Curatorial Board of the festival KAUNAS PHOTO and Kaunas Photography Gallery gathered for a virtual meeting and approved the list of the Top 8 KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2021 Award finalists:
- Marna Clarke (USA) Growing Old
- Fábio Cunha (Portugal) The Animal Within
- Alain Schroeder (Belgium) Grandma Divers
- Michal Solarski & Tomasz Liboska (United Kingdom / Poland) Cut It Short
- Rosa Mariniello (Italy) The Suspended Youth
- Magdalena Stengel (Germany) ±100
- Clelia Rochat (Belgium) Belles Mômes
- Martha Thomas (USA) Do Not Forget You Are Not In Lithuania
After analyzing the photographic series of the finalists presented in wide selections and high-resolution files, the joint Curatorial Board will meet again at the end of the week to elect the Winner of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2021. The Curatorial Board selects the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Winner from the 8 Finalists, prioritizing the work that is innovative in the use of photographic medium, exploration of the topic, strong in artistic maturity, sufficient and suitable for the large space of Kaunas Photography Gallery.
KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Finalists’ exhibition openings will take place in Kaunas on September 3, 2021. 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.
The programme of KAUNAS PHOTO 2021 will be published closer to the festival dates. You can follow the news on the festival’s social networks at Facebook and Instagram (@KaunasPhoto). To receive the latest news and updates in your email inbox—suscribe to KAUNAS PHOTO newsletter at the following link: https://festival.kaunasphoto.com/newsletter-signup
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. KAUNAS PHOTO festival is organized by the NGO “Šviesos raštas”.