36th week of 2017 was in sign of voting of the jury in the 1st round of DOFOTOS contest. We have registered 83 authors with 91 entries. Jury has selected 5 finalists in the independent voting from almost 900 photographs. These finalists will be included in the second round. Decision was not easy, as we have received many high quality entries not just from Slovak or Czech republic, but also from India, Russia, Spain or USA. Thematically, photos have traditionally been focused on displaying bad social conditions or people with mental disabilities. Several authors have also submitted photos of the family, folk culture, life in the countryside or isolated communities. Below you will find a list of selected finalists and as a small teaser, one picture from the submitted series and its description.
This is a long-term document because I have been photographing this person with pauses for more than a year. He is a man connected with the nature and so he lives. He does not eat meat from convincing and keeps many animals he loves. He lives in an old cottage and refuses to use thermo isolation and to change windows. He has a great wife who is also captured in photos. I started to take these photos mainly because of his production of traditional musical instruments for sheperds. Specifically, fujara (Slovak shepherds long pipe) and whistles. I capture several producers, who create traditional goods and I plan to do so in the future with a pictorial document about the traditional producers in Slovakia.
David Arribas González – Scars
Spain is one of the few countries where the hunting with greyhounds is a legal activity. What was a way of survival for the familiar core on rural areas, now (when it is not a vital activity anymore) has been reinvented and turned into a sport, preserving is practice into the traditional culture of the country. At the ending of the hunting season, on February, the dogs that are not useful either by injuries, lack of competivity or by the age, are abandoned or, on the worst of cases, are deleted using practices highly agresive such as being hung. Dogs shelters and houses of reception try to give a dignified life to the higher quantity of this abandoned hounds, touching unfortunate conditions of over population. The spanish laws, that are not strict concerning animal rights, keep this situation going on each year.
Clary Estes – Those Who Remain
I am submitting my project, “Those Who Remain” set in Moldova. “Hundreds of thousands of people from a corner of eastern Europe were forcibly deported as political exiles during two waves of Soviet repression in the 1940s. Many of them died during the journey or in exile. Others returned home with shattered lives. Only a few survive today. “Those Who Remain” tells their stories. The Stalinist regime devised the deportation program to identify and exile political dissidents from what is now the Republic of Moldova. I recently spent the last month of one of my subject’s lives, shooting and caring for her. The project not only bared witness to her live and memories, but also to difficult process of her death, in fact, even the moment of her death. This story is not just about the history of the deportations in Moldova, it is about surviving, isolation, family, life and death. “Those Who Remain” addresses one of the most thematically pertinent themes of our time, the mass displacement of humans as a result of oppressive governments, through the lens of how history echoes through our lives.
András Á. Cséfalvay – Balazs
Name Balazs comes from the Greek name Blasios, meaning “brash, incomprehensible.” I have been photographing Balazs since November 2015, since I met him in the Association which helps people with mental disabilities in Dunajská Streda. His interesting personality and passion for sport made me so fascinated that we gradually became friends. He is 33 years old, lives with her mother, goes to the gym twice a week to train and play squash – alone. In the afternoon, he joins the group of mentally disabled.
Michal Babinčák – Gypsies
Series Gypsies originated during the 2 years of photographing in settlements in Slovakia. The documentary attempts to capture the life of gypsies in more than 15 settlements in Central and Eastern Slovakia.
We thank everyone who was not afraid to send photos to our competition. The number and quality of the submitted series tells us that the documentary photography is still alive and is being attended by a large number of photographers. Each finalist will receive a review from the selected member of the jury which will be published later on. The jury currently has a second round of voting to select a winner from the finalists. Fingers crossed.