Research Grant for Ukrainian Lens-based Artists and Researchers
Vic Bakin (1984)
"Last year I started a still-untitled and ongoing project about the Ukrainian queer scene. Working with youth portraiture in general and being queer myself I am very engaged in the queer scene specifically. Here, after years of forbiddance and reppression, the queer scene begins to sprout from the underground, little by little gains its own unique voice, different from others. I personally feel obliged to give this voice a visual form."
Yana Kononova (1977)
"Since the end of March 2022, I have been working on an artistic study of the war. I take pictures on my medium format film camera of what has been happening in Ukraine since the beginning of the war with the Russian Federation. I move to areas that have been occupied or territories where hostilities have taken place. My focus is on traces of war crimes, destroyed civilian infrastructure, objects of the militaristic imagination of the invaders."
Nazar Furyk (1995)
"In my photographic practice before the full scale invasion I captured, or more often, arranged everyday still lives and landscapes, combining artificial objects with elements of the natural environment. Most of all, I really appreciated the deliberate and precise chaos of nature when emphasizing the surrealist and fragile nature of the landscape with its strange power.
Now I try to go through the 'chaos', I try to capture people with big hopes for the life ahead, people with a powerful belief in freedom, faith, and courage, and to show all these fragilities in the photos."
Viacheslav Poliakov (1986)
"I'm constantly trying to capture and share the unique aesthetic of my immediate environment. I record a combination of natural forms and human impact. Wild vegetation and signs of natural decay on the old walls, bleached by the southern sun of Kherson. Rusty metal fences and organic waste used as fertilisers in the backyards of Lviv. Graffiti layers on the gray soviet lime bricks. Old pain, re-captured and healed by nature.
With the full scale invasion of Russia, under the influence of images of torn apart bodies in the news feeds, I’ve started to tear apart the pictures I had. Mixing the records of old pain, almost vanished in time, with the new pain, live and growing."
Elena Subach (1980)
"My goal is to portray and record oral stories of people who were forced to leave their homes because of the war. I ask about the experience of abandoning everything and going into the unknown, about the conditions those people live in now. The photos you can see here were taken in Lviv shelters for internally displaced persons. Theaters, schools, libraries, kindergartens, and offices have been converted into shelters."
One guy from Mariupol said, "In order to be able to evacuate from there, you had to become a different person—half-empty and semi-new. Otherwise, you had no chance to leave the city. You become a person with no past as it has been taken away, a person whose memories have no material basis. There is nothing you are left with, not even the graves of your parents."
Researcher of contemporary Ukrainian photography, journalist and editor based in Kyiv. Ahmed co-edited the UPHA Made in Ukraine anthology of Ukrainian photography, published by BOOKSHA in 2021, and was a senior editor of the Your Art media platform, dedicated to contemporary visual art in Ukraine. She is a co-curator of the artist-run-space Hlebzawod (Kyiv).
Being aware of the degree to which the photographic talent and tradition of Eastern Europe remain undiscovered and underresearched, the wish to create a platform dedicated to the broader field of contemporary Eastern European photography felt both obvious and urgent.
While the image of the West is all-present in the reality of the East, perceptions of the East as they were cemented during the Cold War have remained strikingly distant and unchanged. Berlin has a long and complex shared history with Eastern Europe, and in times of intensified social unrest and geopolitical conflict, we perceive a platform rooted in the photographic medium as a vehicle for the understanding and criticism of dominant canons and master narratives, as well as for the exploration of phenomena grounded in shared historical experience and contemporary local concerns.
Our focus lies in exhibiting the works of contemporary Eastern European lens-based artists, and in consciously working towards more differentiated paradigms when it comes to the exploration and contextualization of their work.
WHAT WE DO
EEP Berlin is an online resource for artists and professionals that presents artist portfolios and interviews focusing on uncovering the original context of their work as well as new developments in the field of contemporary Eastern European photography.
The eep Magazine is the first photography journal dedicated solely to the little known art and photography scenes of Eastern Europe. It is an annual publication distributed internationally, the first issue of which came out in November of 2019. Its focus lies in uncovering the hidden nuances, dialogues and contrasts in the works of emerging and established Eastern European visual artists and photographers.
We do research and curate photography exhibitions. Starting in 2018, we have already organized more than a dozen solo and group exhibitions focusing on topics of migration, identity and experimentation within the photographic medium. Since then, we have managed to bring more than 20 Eastern European artists to Berlin and present their projects to audiences here as part of events such as Berlin Gallery Weekend, Month of Photography, Berlin Photo Week and our own gallery shows.
In our online shop we provide a platform for the discovery and acquisition of collectible prints and photobooks. All prints are limited edition and printed on museum quality fine art papers.
EEP Berlin is completely self-financed. If you wish to support us make sure to have a peak in our shop. Through purchasing any of the books and artworks in our online shop or otherwise exhibited, you directly support our initiative. Thank you!
Amina Ahmed is a researcher of contemporary Ukrainian photography, journalist and editor based in Kyiv. Ahmed co-edited the UPHA Made in Ukraine anthology of Ukrainian photography, published by BOOKSHA in 2021, and was a senior editor of the Your Art media platform, dedicated to contemporary visual art in Ukraine. She is a co-curator of the artist-run-space Hlebzawod (Kyiv).
Krasimira Butseva is the co-editor of the EEP Magazine. She is also a visual artist, writer and visiting lecturer at the University of the Arts London. She investigates Eastern European trauma, history and memory, with the use of field and archival research, oral history and auto-ethnographic research.
Miha Colner is an art historian who works as a curator at GBJ – Božidar Jakac Art Museum, Kostanjevica na Krki, Slovenia. He is also active as a publicist, specialised in visual arts, namely photography, printmaking, artists’ moving image and various forms of (new) media art. In the period 2017-2020 he was a curator at MGLC – International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana; in the period 2006-2016 he was a curator at Photon – Centre for Contemporary Photography, Ljubljana.
Oğulcan Ekiz is a London-based visual artist and copyright law scholar from Turkey. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Queen Mary University of London, conducting empirical research on photography and copyright law in the UK, titled ‘The (Impossible) Journey of Photography: How Copyright Affects Meaning-Making in the Process of Circulation’ (working title). His work has previously been exhibited in Istanbul, Amsterdam, and London. His collages are currently represented by FAM Illustrations, an Istanbul-based illustration agency.
Maya Hristova is the founder of EEP and Editor-In-Chief of the eep Magazine. She has finished her studies in Photography at the Ostkreuzschule in Berlin with Prof. Ute Mahler in 2014 and has since then worked as an independent curator, researcher and photographer.
Katažyna Jankovska is a Lithuanian writer, editor and researcher currently based in Rotterdam. She holds a bachelor's degree in art history and theory from Vilnius Art Academy and a master's degree in Arts, Culture and Society from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her scholarly and curatorial interests include critical posthumanism with a specific focus on artistic research, new media art, digital technologies and worldbuilding practices. Her writings and exhibition reviews have been published in Lithuanian and international art magazines. She also co-curated EEP Berlin's "Heterotopia" — an online exhibition which focused on the experimental practices by contemporary Lithuanian lens-based artists.
Jewgeni Roppel is a photographer and the founder of the OSTLOOK Platform for contemporary photography from Eastern Europe (2014- 2020). Since 2020, he is part of EEP Berlin as a curator and editor. Jewgeni holds an M.A. in Photography and Media from the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld. Besides his curatorial work for EEP Berlin, he works as an editorial photographer for diverse magazines as well as on long-term projects in Eastern European countries.
Elaine Tam is a London-based writer and independent curator with a master's degree in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths University. Her research interests include poetics, the untranslatable, and encounters with radical Otherness.
Linda Zhengová is a Czech photographers and writer currently based in the Netherlands. She has a background in International Studies and finished her BA at Leiden University in 2018. In 2019 she graduated with MA in Media Studies (specialization in Film and Photographic Studies) at Leiden University with distinction (cum laude). Recently, she graduated with a Photography BA at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. In her writings, she delves into topics of gender, and trauma in order to discuss works of others and themes that interest her.
We asked: What are the most meaningful ways to support the Ukrainian photographic community?
Scholarships that allow us to continue our work and give the world a more in-depth perspective on the situation in Ukraine.
Push your cultural institutions to understand their colonial approach to all ex-members of the Russian empire.
Ensure artists' visibility and active participation in the international photographic context, assist them in building new cultural networks and in maintaining existing ones.