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Olof Jarlbro February 23, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bulgaria.
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Bulgarian Ataka. Political Party, Sofia 2011

Olof Jarlbro (1978,Sweden) graduated from the Documentary and Photojournalism program at the International Center of Photography  in 2001. After his studies in New York he returned to Sweden and began working on longer photographic projects. In 2005 he attended the BA-program at FAMU  Art, Film and Photographic school in Prague. During his time in the Czech Republic he had a solo exhibit at the House of  Photography in Bratislava, Slovakia. In 2008, he published his first book The Falling Kingdom. His work has been published in Esquire, Style  and other magazine. After the ‘Falling Kingdom’ Olof published two more books:  ‘Stonefactory’ (2009) and ‘Nepal and Mao’ (2011). He is currently based in Bulgaria.

About the Photographs:

“The Bulgarian Ataka party was founded in 2005. They describe themselves as patriotic and nationalistic. I’m interested in people who are politically extreme regardless if it’s the left or right. In either case, I try to gain acceptance from the subjects before making  photographs. I never go in with a political belief or personal standpoint. Part of my success in gaining access in other cultures is my willingness to try and understand other people’s perspective. One would think that the party would just attract skinheads, but they draw support from a large variety of people in Bulgaria: workers, farmers, pensioners and a large portion of people from remote villages.”

Dimitri Stefanov January 16, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bulgaria.
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Burial in the village of Vulchi Trun, Bulgaria 2011

Dimitri Stefanov (b. 1987, Bulgaria) began an entry-level course in photography at the Escuela de Fotografía y Centro de Imagen in Madrid, when he was 19 years old. One year later, in 2009, he took a documentary photography course at the same school and was awarded the Most Promising Student of the Year. In 2010 he was  invited to show his work at the International Festival of Photography in Plodiv, Bulgaria. He was a runner-up as Young Bulgarian Photographer of the Year. In 2011, Dimitri was selected to attend the Joop Swart Masterclass. His work has also been recognized  by the POYi Emerging Vision Incentive and has been published in Bulgarian magazines such as One, Neq, BG Press Photo and others.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is part of a project called In Profundis conducted between 2010 and 2011 in my home country, Bulgaria. It is my direct approach to face of  death in the most physical sense.  The grandchildren are mourning the death of their grandmother in the cemetery chapel. Here I have to say that without the help and understanding of all deceased persons and families this project would not have been possible. Thanks to each and every one of them. I never lied to anyone when making these pictures. I just want the viewer see or feel what I felt in these tough times. I have a saying: Life is over only when the music stops.”

Luiz Maximiano May 5, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bulgaria.
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maximiano_europe.jpg
Woman praying at Sveta Nedelyz Church. Sofia, Bulgaria

Luiz Maximiano was born in Brazil in 1978. After earning a BA in Social Communication at ESPM, in São Paulo, and a brief period working in the marketing department of companies like Sharp and Levi’s, he moved to the Netherlands in 2003 and became a photographer. In early 2007 he was awarded the Canon Prize as best photojournalist under 30 in the Netherlands. A nominee of both the World Press Photo Masterclass and PDN’s 30, he attended the Eddie Adams Workshop, in 2005, and the Missouri Photo Workshop, in 2006. His work has appeared in publications such as Marie Claire, Le Figaro Magazine, L’Espresso, Folha de S.Paulo, the Guardian and many others. He is based in Amsterdam.

About the Photograph:

As Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union in 2007, both countries will face similar challenges as they still suffer the economic consequences from their Communist past as well as corruption and high criminality rates. Most people make only the equivalent of a couple hundred dollars a month and unemployment is a big problem. The Roma minority is widely neglected everywhere and very few people believe that something significant will improve in their lives. The general idea is that Romanians and Bulgarians will be something like second class citizens in this new Europe.

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