2018 Nikon-NOOR Poland Masterclass


Between the 26th of February and the 1st of March 2018, the Nikon-NOOR Workshop took place at Studio Bank. This workshop launched 2018 Nikon-NOOR Academy, following by workshops in Stockholm and Brussels. Fifteen young visual story tellers came together for an inspiring four days of learning and sharing with NOOR photographers Nina Berman, Tanya Habjouqa and Sebastian Liste and the NOOR team represented by Agata Bar.

During the four intensive days, the group reviewed and shared their portfolios, listened to presentations by the photographers, held in-depth discussions on practical and creative issues, and edited their visual stories. Below you will find a showcase of the participants’ work.

The masterclass has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Nikon Europe.


Agata Grzybowska


9 Gates of No Return

  • A photography series about loneliness and melancholy
  • A series about the loneliness of a person and that of a photographer
  • A series about the loneliness of another person, aimed at understanding it

In the 1950s Bieszczady became a mythical land of freedom, the perfect escape, because they were a vacuum. These mountains were an asylum, a distant shelter for outsiders, people of failure, fugitives and exiles, who chose them as the place where they can meet themselves, escape the suffocating life. The protagonists of my photographs arrived in Bieszczady during the 1950-80s. Each person came to these mountains for a slightly different reason and none have left since. They chose loneliness in the mountains, escaped their old lives and created a new “I” from scratch. The protagonists of my photographs are united by the motif of abandonment, resignation from something or someone. They have abandoned their old lives to be alone, a strange interpretation
of the feeling of freedom. Freedom which is demanding but constructive. The people I meet and talk to have been confronted by nature, their hands have been damaged by physical labour. The rhythm of their day is completely different to the rhythm of the city. The city for them became the synonym
of ease and boredom. These mountains are very demanding and require determination – they hold no place for weak people degraded by civilisation.
My protagonists live in solitude, surrounded by mountains, often without electricity and running water. They relinquished civilisation. Civilisation gives us something but also takes something away. Freud said that civilisation is based on the relinquishment of instinct, Bauman added that in the postmodern world gains and losses have swapped places. Postmodern people have lost a part of their security in return for an increased chance or hope of happiness. What is loneliness? What are the consequences of abandoning one’s previous life? Why does one consciously opt for loneliness? Julia Kristeva wrote that those who are overtaken by melancholy can only write about it if their writing stems from melancholy itself. This is my reason for trailing the mountains to nd my protagonists. This is a photography series about loneliness. About the loneliness of me as a person and as a photographer. And about the loneliness of another person, aimed at understanding it.

Agata Grzybowska

Agata Grzybowska (b. 1984) photojournalist based in Warsaw. Graduated from the Direction of Photography at the Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Lodz. Since 2012 Grzybowska works as a photojournalist for the biggest newspaper in Poland „Gazeta Wyborcza”. She has co-founded photographic collective inPRO (inproduction.pl) focused on development of press photography and photojournalism. She received Young Poland 2017 – Polish Ministry of Culture grant for young artists. Since 2015 she has been working on her personal project about melancholy and loneliness/solitude „9 Gates of No Return”. The project will be closed with a book publish by BLOW UP PRESS, the publisher of „doc! Photo Magazine”. In March 2017 she realised, together with Bartek Wasik and Robert Migas, a project „Kocham Lublin Szanuje. Harmony of the city”. The project was commissioned by the Teatr Stary in Lublin on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of Lublin city. In 2015 her photography taken during „Black Thursday” in Kiev won The Picture of The Year 2015 at BZ WBK PRESS FOTO Competition. She also won the first prize for single picture in the category Events at the same competition. In 2013 she won second prize in the category Photocast, for her work "Kill the gay" at the Grand Press Photo Competition. The same year, together with writer Wojciech Karpieszuk, Grzybowska won the Obsverver Prize at Student Journalism Competition MediaTory. Her works have been nominated for many prestigious awards, including the Grand Press Photo (2014) and Amnesty International (2013). Grzybowska travels across the world depicting people in difficult, often life-threatening situations. She has worked in Syria, Uganda, India, Egypt, Romania, and the Ukraine. While working, her principle is to get as close as possible to the human being in the centre of the story. Her work has been showed at Royal Castle in Warsaw, courtyard President’s Palace, Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk, The Wilson Shaft Gallery in Katowice, The Old Brewery in Poznan, The Galery FF - Forum Of Photography in Lodz, Romanian Cultural Institute in Bucharest.


Alexander Vasukovich


To Grow, Live and Die like a Plant.

In Belarus, children born with cognitive mental disabilities illness and cerebral palsy are often abandoned by their families and placed in state psychiatric orphanages. They live a life of sorts, in a permanent state of institutional neglect. When they reach 18, they can be moved to adult residential facilities, here life continues much the same way, in isolation, with little stimulation, waiting out their lives until death. For the last two years I have documented the quality of life and care at three of these institutions. Nationwide two thousand children and twelve thousand adults are housed in forty-six facilities.
 These are closed institutions with little accountability. Sometimes an employee, concerned over the lack of funding for necessary food and Staff, will speak out, but they risk dismissal.

Alexander Vasukovich

Alexander Vasukovich is a freelance photographer, based in Minsk, Belarus. Born in 1985 in Minsk. He began his career as a photojournalist in 2011. In 2012 he got Grand Prix of Belarus Press Photo contest, and first prize Belarus Press Photo - Multimedia contest the same year. In 2016 and 2017 he got PRAFOTA grand prix in documentary category for his project about domestic violence in Belarus and Ukrainian volunteer battalion. Alexander work mostly on topics of human right and social injustice.


Anastasia Vlasova


Love Letters to Donbas

Love Letters to Donbas is a very beginning of my book about the war in Eastern Ukraine. For years I have been covering the conflict in Donbas region of Ukraine’s east. In this work, I would like to step aside from the usual perception of war which highlights the military victories and defeats and share the personal narratives of people I have met and my own story as well. During my numerous trips to Eastern Ukraine, I fell in love with the land and the people I have met. I would like to take a reader on that personal journey of mine, through war, grieve, happiness and love. I see this work as a mixture of photographs, monologues of protagonists and my letters to my partner. Some of the monologues were written down while collaborating with the documentary theatre in Ukraine, the Theatre of Displaced People, and I plan to continue that collaboration. My story will be shown through the letters I wrote to my partner who was staying in a besieged town of Debaltseve during the battle.

Anastasia Vlasova

Anastasia Vlasova is a Ukrainian documentary photographer based in Kyiv. She has covered the EuroMaidan Revolution, Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 near Donetsk. Anastasia's work focuses on the humanitarian aspects of the war in Eastern Ukraine, gender and identity issues. Vlasova's photojournalism has won several awards, among them the gold for College Photographer of the Year and the bronze at Picture of the Year International, honorable mention at 2015 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award and became a finalist for Leica Oscar Barnack Award. Vlasova has a master’s degree in journalism from the Institute of Journalism at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. She is a 2015 Magnum Foundation Human Rights and Photography Fellow at NYU and the XXVIII Eddie Adams Workshop participant.


Andreea Campeanu


Giuvlipen, Romania’s Roma revolutionary theater

Giuvlipen is a Roma feminist theater group founded in 2014 by a group Romanian-Roma actresses,in Bucharest, Romania. The group’s aim is to break stereotypes about Roma, empower Roma women and challenge racism in Romanian society and patriarchal Roma communities.

Their performances talk about early marriage, lack of education, evictions, LGBT rights, discrimination and exoticisation of Roma women. In 2017, Giuvlipen toured Romania with their performances, campaigning for a Roma state-funded theatre.

Roma, the largest minority in Europe, are often victims of discrimination and in Romania, according to the World Bank, 9 out of 10 Roma live in deprivation, lacking basic access to healthcare and education.

Over the last two years, I have been photographing the group, following them on tours, but also in their daily lives. This is work in progress, and I intend to continue following the group’s growth.

Andreea Campeanu

Andreea Campeanu is a Romanian freelance photojournalist based in her hometown Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She frequently covers arts, fashion and sports culture in marginalized countries or communities, and is interested in the intersection between art and politics. Her work often focuses on documenting issues related to displacement and the effects of conflict. Andreea has covered the ramifications of war in South Sudan and Central African Republic. In the past, she lived and worked in Sudan, South Sudan, Madagascar and Lebanon. She also worked in Spain, Morocco, Central African Republic, Greece, Turkey. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Time, Le Monde, Paris Match, and National Geographic Romania, among others. She frequently contributed to Reuters, AFP and the United Nations. Andreea holds a MA in Media and Visual Anthropology from Free University in Berlin. She received grants from Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting and IWMF.


Anna Ivantsova


“ Russia is an enormous plain across which wander mischievous men” - Anton Chekhov

How can you describe Russia? How can I describe Russia? I’ll try. Huge territory full of love and pain, mysteries and candor, faith and disbelief, ice and fire. Inspired by Russian literature and art, but mostly by nature and people, I’m trying to tell about my love to motherland. That’s why it’s not an attempt to break stereotypes, to argue, to prove something to somebody but the try to share my impressions and feelings with you

Anna Ivantsova

Anna was born and is now based in Moscow, Russia. Worked as a staff photographer in “Vechernaya Moskva” newspaper (The Evening Moscow). Left the job in 2016, since that time she was working as a freelance photographer. In 2013 was selected as a participant of the journalism exchange program by the ICFJ (Washington DC). Was a participant of the Eddie Adams Workshop and the Angkor Photo Workshop. Her works were published by The New York Times LensBlog, TakieDela.ru, and Meduza


Artur Gutowski


Pastor, Shaman, Demon

It’s a project about combating worlds: world of christianity and world of old shamanic practices.

I focus on the work of shaman Hamisi Musa and his younger brother. They live in a small city situated one hour from Mombasa. They have a small clinic where they receive patients. People come with various illnesses, but also for example to make a spell on someone. They have a price list of services.

The person to whom the spell was cast in most of the cases is going to the church to clear the spell. Pastor Samuel Wainana organizes a holy mass every week to help someone with spell. During the ceremony they singing christian songs and praying. The possessed person feels convulsions and shouts in a piercing voice at that moment...

Pastors go many times to the country's countryside to fight the work of the shaman. Last time three pastors have been killed during such visits...

Artur Gutowski

Freelance photographer. In 2017 he finished Polish National Film School with the title of Master of Arts. His works were published in: National Geographic, Digital Camera, Kontynenty, VICE, L’Hebdo, Der Greif, TON, Dialog-Pheniben, doc!, Musli, Eprawda, WladzaSadzenia, Newsweek, WP, Onet, Culture.PL, Swiatobrazu.pl, Niezlasztuka


Dawid Zielinski


A Foreign Landscape

Wars, famine, poverty and climate change continue to drive people out from their homes, communities, countries, to the unknown. They join millions who are already on the move, constantly, restlessly, occupying spaces on the margins of the first world. Continously interacting with their surroundings and the landscape they encounter along the way, they leave their mark, however elusive. From subtle signs in the forest undergrowths to discarded blankets to makeshift food stalls. This new and unexpected human presence is transforming the environment inhabitated and organized long ago, even if it's just a for a day, a week or a month, as they keep moving through the landscape scarred by walls and fences, running, hiding and then running again.

In 2015 and 2016, I covered the refugee crisis as it was unfolding in various European countries. Gradually, I became increasingly interested in how their arrival was transforming the landscape. Serving initially as a backdrop for their story, it gradually started to tell its own tale, one of fear and despair but also hope and resilience, among new divisions and borders brought by rapidly deteriorating political climate.

Instead of following the routine of descriptive and news oriented work that we've seen again and again, I plan to focus on the dynamics of landscape transformations along established migration routes and the ephemeral traces of migrant presence.

With this approach, I want to explore the general idea of temporality and draw parallels between migrant's plight and the conditions of contemporary nomads as they echo the same story of constant movement in todays liquid global society.

Dawid Zieliński

Dawid Zieliński is a freelance documentary photographer based in Kraków, Poland, with a main focus on social and environmental issues.
 His coverage of European refugee crisis was awarded highly acclaimed Grand Press Photo of the Year Award 2016 as well as Pictures of the Year International and NPPA's Best of Photojournalism awards in 2017. He's been working as a contributing photographer for Magazyn Kontakt since 2016.


Dominika Jaruga


The Good Change

I was raised by a single mother in a small village. I remember my way to school, ten minutes from my house. My mother told me I always wanted to go to school to be around the other children. „THE GOOD CHANGE” is the slogan of the right government. They have decided to change the way of learning. I feel that they want to create the idealistic version of our country and their plan is in progress.

But actually, it means that thousands of teachers will lose their jobs. People have to fit into that situation. The government is preparing the whole new system for that change. They are making new textbooks, classes, the whole buildings. But after all these years of habits, is any change even possible?

I am returning to my elementary school — I am trying to unpack my own memories of childhood, family and my young years. I always felt I had to be the best, to be a good girl. Never fail and show my mother that she raised me in a good way. That her good plan worked.

School raised me too, I have many memories connected with that place, like everybody has. Now when I realized that old way of learning won’t be possible anymore, I see my school as a portal where past and present meets. It’s a place where I can find my memories and a lens through which I can see „The good change” effects.

The project is currently in progress.

Dominika Jaruga

Dominika Jaruga is a freelance photographer based between two cities - Warsaw (Poland) and Berlin (Germany). Studying MA in Photography at National Film School in Lodz, she is interested in visual storytelling and works on long-term projects. She focuses on issues connected with human adaptation to „change” and „lost”. She is using her personal experiences as a way of telling the story.


Farzad Soleimani


Hamoun lake

Hamoun lake, once the biggest sweet water lake, and the second largest lake in Iran,has been almost completely dry all year round for the last couple of decades. The lake was considered as the main and almost the only natural resource in the region and since its disappearing, things have changed drastically. A large part of the population has fled to other cities either near or far. Those who stay also, have to deal with a good number of challenges, namely lack of resources to live on. The phenomenon has had significant consequences such as poverty, environmental migration and health problems and is important from social-environmental and geo-political points of view.

The lake started to dry up since the build of two large dams on the main tributaries of Helmand river, the main source of water for Hamoun. Both dams were built by technical and financial support of the U.S. government. Global warming and resulting extended droughts have also been important contributing factors.

This body of work is the starting chapter of a long-term project. My hope is to show different angles and vast consequences of the phenomenon through still and moving images.

Farzad Soleimani

I started in photojournalism and visual story telling because of my passion about nature and environment. Anxious about the harm that we’ve been doing to our environment without taking the consequences into account, I decided to turn my lens towards the existing issues derived from our negligences. It still is the main motive for me and I hope to continue my work with a focus on different angles of environmental issues. Currently I live in Denmark and I am a student of Advanced Visual Storytelling at the Danish School of Media and Journalism.


Filip Jakubowski



Divorce was my mother’s idea. In fact, she never explained to me why she wanted this divorce. I did not ask really. It completly destroyed my dad who had to move out and start life from scratch. This project is an investigation for me. How our family really looked like, what led to all of this? It is an attempt to confront the myth that I created about my family, home and parents.

Filip Jakubowski

My name is Filip Jakubowski. I am 21 years old. Currently I am studying photography at The Leon Schiller National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź in Poland. Before that I studied anthropology at Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology of the Jagiellonian University. I am primary interest in personal documentary, in a matters that directly affects and shapes me. I strongly believe in words

“The more specific you are, the more general it’ll be.” by Diane Arbus.


Francesca de Chirico


Call me Nicole

Call me Nicole” tells the story of a nineteen-year-old boy who is slowly becoming a woman. The purpose of this long term project is to give a voice to all people like Nicole of which very little is known. It is an invitation to go beyond the preconceptions. Being a man and becoming a woman (or viceversa) is an incredibly difficult process that requires transsexuals to face tremendous challenges, both physically and psychologically. Nicole must travel 18420 kilometers to live in the body she feels she belongs to. “Call me Nicole” is about this journey.

Francesca de Chirico

Francesca De Chirico (born in 1995), an Italian photographer based in Bari, explores themes linked to both individual and collective identity. Hers are personal researches that arise from the need to give back another vision of reality, transforming them into a language which oscillates between the documentary and the creative interpretation of the storytelling. Francesca focuses on stories that can be considered "out of place", interpreting the emotions and the path of people who like her seek their place in the world. In this formal swing, she creates metaphors that have a soothing tone and put the reader in a state of suspension of judgment.


Karolina Jonderko



Babies awaken strong emotions in adults. We look after them with care and gentleness, we love them. Surprisingly, this is the case even if they are not real.

It looks like a real baby, it even smells like one, but it’s made of vinyl. When you take on such a doll, you are given a birth certificate with the weight and height, just like a real baby. Each and every one of them is unique, carefully crafted by reborn artists, that’s why they are collected as pieces of art. Yet those dolls happen to be a powerful therapy tool. It’s proven that cuddling a baby causes a release of hormones, which produce a sense of well being. They bring comfort.

Every woman has a unique motive for having such a baby. The maternal instinct is so strong that those who can’t have, or have lost a baby, give their love to an unreal one. They look after them, change them, take them for a walk and buy clothes for them. The “babies” provide companionship, they bring calming routine, they are a little bundle of joy to love and help their “mothers” dealing with loss, depression, trauma or anxiety.

Karolina Jonderko

Karolina is an award-winning photographer with the master degree in photography from the Polish National Film, Television and Theater School in Lodz. She is based in Poland and works on verity of her projects both locally and internationally.

Most of her long-term projects are focused on the aftermath of loss. Experiencing it herself she wants to draw attention to the issues people face. Projects on this theme include "Self-portrait with my mother" "Lost", "Reborn" and "Little Poland". Her long-term projects were nationally and internationally awarded: Foto Visura Spotlight Grant, Luceo Student Award, Grand Press Photo etc. She won Magnum& Ideas Tap award and completed the internship at Magnum Photos office in NYC.

Her works where displaced at a number ofexhibitions and festivals such as Circulation(s) Festival (France), Landskorona foto (Sweden), Noorderlicht Festival (Holland) and published in the Guardian, Blow magazine, The British Journal of Photography among others.


Krystian Maj


„Logging of the world heritage”

„Logging of the world heritage” is the first part of an ongoing project documenting the Polish government’s policy of turning back the clock on environmental protections at the moment of global climate crisis. Rather than pursuing sustainable energy policies mandated by the Paris Agreement, the government is promoting polluting fossil fuel energy production such as coal mining.

After the elections in Poland in October 2015 the victorious Law and Justice party announced it would allow logging in the Bialowieza forest, the oldest primeval forest in Europe, and a UNESCO World Heritage. The environmental minister claimed the spruce bark beetle plague necessitated the logging but environmentalists disagreed. Scandal broke out after information was leaked that the government planned to cut trees in zones strictly prohibited by UNESCO. The European Union Tribunal of Justice demanded Poland stop the activity but the Polish Minister of Environment said the Bible allows man to rule the earth and logging would continue.

Environmentalists from all over the world came to Bialowieza in the summer and fall of 2017 to defend the unique forest. These pictures document the controversial decision of the Polish government and the dedication of ordinary people committed to protecting the forest.

Krystian Maj

Ambitious, independent and reliable freelance photographer working entire Europe, including post-soviet states. Experienced in covering wide range news for wire agencies (FORUM, ZUMA, Vice, Reuters, AFP) and stories (Financial Times, Die Tageszeitung, Wysokie obcasy, SRF). Skilled in photographing humanitarian crisis (Balkan route), conflict zones (ISIS frontline in Iraq, Crimea annexation, Maidan revolution), as well as local stories.

Personally focused in covering humanitarian and environmental issues.

Works published in VICE, AP/Reuters/AFP wire, Newsweek, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Paris Match, La Repubblica, Dagbladet Dagen, Российская газета, Gazeta Wyborcza, Fakt, SE, and many more worldwide.


Pawel Laczny


„On the way to the Lord”

Each country has it's factor which very often determinates it's citizens mentality. So has Poland. Our factor is religion. It is in schools, in sport, in landscapes, in politics reaching almost all parts of our lifes. Following the statistics, nine of ten of my countryman are catholics. Very often it seems that the values share in churches stays in churches. It is visible in our daily life, religion is being used as a weapon in public and political disscusions. In an attempt to document the social and spiritual consequences of those ongoing confrontations, I decided to seek the believers that are behind the politics. People for which religion is a life path, foundament and a goal. I was looking for a way to get close to the believers and relized that I should join them during pilgrimages. Along this journey I took part in annual catholic pilgrimage from Wrocław to Częstochowa and orthodox one from Warsaw to St. Grabarka mountain. The difficulty of walking is taken by children, adults and elder people. I could observe that the strenght to walk tens of kilometers per day comes from community which they create and the goal each pilgrim has. I had experienced connection with very religious people, worshippers who cried while praying. I met people with passion, truly committed to faith. I tried to express their toil and effort, as a sign and manifestation of true faith. For the first time I have been a witness of such unblemished faith. The project begun as, in some way, a looking for faith in faith. I don't know if I found it but I know that I want to keep discovering. I want to look for the religion's impact on our lifes, how it appers in small and large scale.

Pawel Laczny

Pawel Laczny - born in 1983, member of Polish Jurnalists Associtation and International Federation of Jurnalists, graduated in economy. Works as a freelancer photographer, mostly intrested in documental photography, in people, their emotions, places they live in. Pawel cooperate with polish and foregin magazines, most of his work is based in Poland. For many years Pawel cooperated with National Geographic Poland, National Geographic Traveler also with UNICEF Poland.


Rafal Siderski


Welcome to No place

Marc Auge, French anthropologist writes about non places which are in opposition to anthropological places. There is no time, no history and people are anonymous and being there temporary.

I’m looking for places like this. Without history, without soul. Temporary buildings, broken things. Exemplification of this theory in real life.

Rafal Siderski

Rafal Siderski was born in 1984 in the city of Bialystok, northeastern part of Poland. From 2005, he studied in Opava, Czech Republic, at the Institute of Creative Photography, Silesian University. In 2008, he completed Pedagogy of Culture studies at the Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology – University of Bialystok. The same year he moved to Warsaw, where he has lived and worked as a freelance photographer ever since. His work is published in a number of major Polish magazines and newspapers, such as: Kultura, Przekrój, Newsweek Polska, Sukces, Dziennik, Gazeta Wyborcza. Student of PhD. at the Institute of Creative Photography, Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic.