Poland and Spain lie at opposite borders of the European Union. The knowledge the inhabitants of one country have of the other is a mixture of stereotypes and fragments of media reports. Two photographic collectives - Sputnik Photos and NOPHOTO - decided to join forces in a common project to verify these ideas.
Sputnik Photos, which focuses on post-Soviet countries, and NOPHOTO, whose works are associated with the Iberian Peninsula, will try to compare the situation in Poland, which is sometimes portrayed as a "green island" on a continent mired in recession, and in Spain, the country with the highest unemployment rate in the EU. - We will look for common ground and look at the countries in a wider international context – the creators promise.
The resulting exhibition - Mapping the Blind Spots – will be presented during the PhotoEspana Festival in Madrid. At the same time, the accompanying publication will have its premiere. The exhibition will be on display from 4th June to 27th July.
Regarding the beginnings of their collaboration, Rafał Milach told Culture.pl:
The theme of this year's PhotoEspana Festival is Spanish photography. We were invited to participate in the festival, but on the condition that we collaborate with artists from Spain.
Both Sputnik and NOPHOTO have roots in documentaries. In this common project, we decided on an experiment which has re-evaluated our work in the context of formulating the message of our regions. The aim of the project is to disrupt documentary media and expose frailties in reporting and the communication of information. The publication and exhibition will be a collage created from existing works. They will intersect and interfere. The aim is to create a new, fictional message which will act as misinformation.
Sputnik Photos is an international collective founded in 2006 by documentary photographers from Central and Eastern Europe. Among the members of the group are winners of prestigious photographic awards, such as World Press Photo and Picture of the Year. Sputnik Photos' photographers are Andrej Balco, Jan Brykczyński, Manca Juvan, Andrei Liankevich, Michał Łuczak, Justyna Mielnikiewicz, Rafał Milach, Adam Pańczuk, Filip Singer and Agnieszka Rayss.
NOPHOTO was established in 2005 with the need to create a less conventional artistic statement. The group is open to modern forms of presenting their projects. It consists of artists such as: Eva Sala, Juan Millás, Eduardo Nave, Iñaki Domingo, Carlos Luján, Jonás Bel, Paco Gómez, Carlos Sanva, and Juan Valbuena, among others.
PhotoEspana is one of the most important photographic festivals in the world. It is organized annually since 1998.
Partner of the project: Polish Institute in Madrid.
ed. Michał Dąbrowski 15.05.2014, translated: Katarzyna Maksimiuk, 16.05.2014