2018 Nikon-NOOR Masterclass Hungary

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Between November 26 and November 29, 2018, the Nikon-NOOR Academy held the second session of its Masterclass at the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center. This masterclass followed the one in Italy and was preceeded by another masterclass in Switzerland. Eighteen young visual storytellers gathered for an inspiring four days of learning and sharing with NOOR photographers Kadir van Lohuizen, Tanya Habjouqa and Sebastian Liste. The NOOR team was represented by the moderator Agata Bar.

During these 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.

Aleksandra Bardas

 

Sweet Salt of Emptiness.

Once upon a time by the Aral Sea coast the surf was noisy and gulls could be heard. Sitting at the coast one could watch the arriving and departing ships. Back then people did not yet know they would make an irreparable mistake. Today, the coast has become hundreds of kilometers away, turning the seabed into the salty desert of Aralkum strewn with white shells reminiscent of a bygone sea. This story is not only about the disappearance of the Aral Sea, but also about people whose lives are being tested every day and become exhausted. Empty sandy depleted soil is a metaphor. This is a reflection of the state of the human soul of the whole population of the region who lost not only their culture but also the source of life - water. Salt reminds us of unquenchable pain and remorse. All that is left looking at these open spaces is memories and the hope that a new generation can change something for the better. I suggest you walk with me along the bottom of the Aral Sea to feel the atmosphere of emptiness, salt in the air and the suffering of nature.

Aleksandra Bardas

I was born in sunny, warm and hospitable Tashkent. My dad was an artist my mother's architect. My favorite books were definitely the ones that had the most pictures. Even as a kid, the pictures captivated me because they gave me space to dream. My parents had a large archive of self-developed images, and I kept wondering how my perception of the same images changed over time. Since school I photographed to capture certain moments of my life. My interest in photography has changed my entire life forever. I leave my career as a teacher and started my photography studies in Germany at FH Dortmund and am very happy with it. Now I mostly work in documentary or photojournalistic photography because I believe in the power of images and find it important to address certain issues and make them think. I'm always happy when I can somehow help my protagonists through my photography.

 
 

András Polgár

 

To get her forever

The most popolous still living matriarchal society on Earth. Among the still-living, maternal-centered societies, the most populous ethnicity is the Indonesian Minangkabau. I have signed a lifelong contract with one of Them in 16 July 2016.

András Polgár

András Polgár is a researcher, who is using documentary photography and multimedia as a tool to bring positive stories. Graduated as an urban designer with the interest of cultural anthropology has inspired him to discover the world of the metropolises. In his projects he is focusing on transition, identities and through personal stories the members of subcultures. His long-term documentary projects are 'TransX – Changing identities in the island paradise of Bali,' 'To get her forever – The most popolous still living matriarchal society on Earth’ and ’Muslim Punk.'From January 2015 he is concentrating especially on the Archip elago of Indonesia. Currently he is living in Budapest with his Minangkabau wife.

 
 

Andrea Alai

 

Beyond the game

Hooliganism is a global phenomenon. In Italy, even in the lower leagues, almost every team has its own supporters, who devote themselves to the hooligans' "lifestyle." Being an Ultras (the Italian word for hooligans), indeed, means much more than going to the stadium and cheer for the team; it means belonging to a group of people, where individual members abandon their ego in favor of a collective ideal, the so called "ultras mentality." It’s a self-actualization process that allows the individual to feel part of something bigger than himself.

In a small city in Northern Italy, some young boys have chosen the GSA (Gradinata Sud Albenga) as their tribe; a life training ground where they can support their team while at the same time they can vent their anger and channel their frustration towards a society that they dislike and that does not represent them.

Andrea Alai

Andrea Alai is an Italian documentary photographer focusing on social issues and sport reportage. He is mainly working on long-term projects in Europe and South America. In 2018 he received the first prize in the sport series at the Andrei Stenin International Photo Contest and was finalist in the Lodi World Report Award.

 
 

Mahé Elipe

 

Until finding them

In a country where thousands of people seem to have "evaporated" from the face of the earth, because of the correlation between police and drug trafficker, the search for the missing had to be done by the civilians themselves. Mothers, wives, daughters or sisters of those who did not return home had no choice but to take shovels and picks and start digging. The El fuerte collective which now boasts more than 200 members — mostly women — was the first to emerge in Mexico. Known as Las Rastreadoras, the group was born in 2014 in the state of Sinaloa in northwestern Mexico. Since its creation, the group has found over 128 bodies through their searches. This report is the beginning of a long term project focus on the collective and individual strength of this group.

Mahé Elipe

Born in 1991, Mahé Elipe is a French photographer based in Mexico. She completed higher education studies in France with a Licence in applied arts, and at the EPTA school of Photography, where she perfected her visual arts skills. Member of the Hans Lucas studio since 2016, she is attracted by the fusion of social concerns, arts and communication, she uses photography as a way to try and determine where human beings find their place in the society. Her goals as a photojournalist is to ask a lot about the place of the human in society in particular the plaque of women, taking advantage of the medium that photography is. Mahé then builds her images by feeding on the culture of those she knows.

 
 

Istvan Bielik

 

The last story-tellers of Málenkij robot

The term ‘Gulag’ refers to a system of labor camps that were present in the whole of the Stalinist Soviet Union. The Main Administration for Affairs of Prisoners of War and Internees (GUPVI) in charge of handling of foreign civilian internees and POW in the Soviet Union during and in the aftermath of World War II. In many ways the GUPVI system was similar to GULAG.Its major function was the organization of foreign forced labor in the Soviet Union. Otherwise the conditions in both camp systems were similar: hard labor, poor nutrition and living conditions, high mortality rate. Málenkij robot – the origin of this expression comes from the Russian 'malenkaja rabota', meaning a little work. Most of the people taken for malenkij robot were made to work in mines, in factories, and on logging and construction sites; a minority were sent to collective and state farms in inhumane conditions. A total of about 700,000 Hungarians were deported to Soviet labor camps; only about 400,000 of them returned home. During the deportation and the time spent in the work camps approximately 300,000 people died. Most of the deported civilians were made prisoners of war, whilst a minority were placed in detention camps. The latter, including many women and girls, were taken there on the pretext that they were of German descent. About 32.000 Swabians, the German-speaking minority of Hungary deported to forced labor in 1944 and 1945. After returning home, they forced the mentally and often physically injured people into silence. Considering their age, only a small number of the survivors of the forced labor camps are still alive. This is the last chance to prevent their stories from disappearing into the maze of history and thus honoring them. Their stories are not only memories – they are also reminders that horrors like them cannot happen ever again.

Istvan Bielik

Istvan Bielik worked for Népszava the oldest hungarian daily paper from 2007 to 2014 as a photojournalist where he learned the the tricks of the profession. In 2014 he worked a year for origo.hu. From 2017 he has been working as a freelancer for Nők Lapja the oldest hungarian magazine and for 24.hu news portal as well. His works has been rewarded with prestigious awards: he was awarded the Grand Prize of the 32nd Hungarian Press Photo Contest in 2013 for the reportage about the Syrian civil war. In 2015, he reported on the armed conflict in East-Ukraine. In the same year he coverd the refugee crisis from Turkey to Western- Europe, and participated in the World Press Photo Organization's Joop Swart Masterclass. In 2017 he took part in the workshop of Magnum Photos as a recipient of the Robert Capa Centre’s scholarship. In 2018 he has beed received Hemző Károly Grant for his works made in a demanding formal language with serious social sensitivity. He received József Pécsi Photography Grant in 2015 and in 2018.

 
 

István András Juhász

 

Unity is Strength

Zen Bu Kan Kempo Karate is a martial art best known for the brutality it has. It is a mixture of many different kind of ancient martial arts such as karate, aikido, judo, jitsu and boxing making it one of the most effective martial art for self defence. Having practiced myself this for 5 years I got to learn many aspects of it. The most important I learned that martial art is a solo combat mostly with yourself. With your ego. In order to achieve something extraordinary one has to go to the wall and beyond. For this mental strength is required like in many other endurance sports eg long distance running. Meanwhile I also learnt that I will never reach the black belt degree as my interests were more on photography and other things and after a certain level if you want to keep on growing most of your time you will be spending on karate as it becomes a lifestyle. However the magic of getting there always fascinated me. I heard loads of rumours how extraordinary a dan grader exams can be and i still wanted to experience this. I got lucky and after long negotiations I was allowed to join. This is the story of a one week long exam from July 2018. The dan exam took place in a remote camp near Felsőtárkány in Hungary. Among the 14 dan graders there was only one girl. The exam went on for a whole week and was part of the annual summer camp organized by the Hungarian Association. This is their story.

István András Juhász

István András Juhász is a freelance photographer currently based in Budapest, Hungary. He has an MSc in economics, studied sociology and photojournalism and recently finished his MA in Photography. His work focuses on the everyday life of ordinary people. Interested in their personal stories, their microcosmos, their way of living and reflection on their environment in order to give a different perspective on and hopefully a better understanding of the world we live in.

 
 

Jeanne Frank

 

Jeanne Frank

Born in 1984, Paris, France, I did a MA in History of Arts and a thesis on photographer Lee Miller at Paris-Sorbonne University. Following a six-months internship at the Gamma agency, I decided to move to New York. I worked there for three years, as a photo editor in two high-rank American companies : Contact Press Images and Polaris. Meanwhile, I covered the Occupy Wall Street movement. Upon return to Paris in 2012, I edited photos for the newspaper 20 Minutes. In September 2014, I became an independent photographer, covering political, social and health issues. In 2015, I follow the French National Secretary of EELV ecologist party, Emmanuelle Cosse during her campaign for the regional elections. Over time, I aim to refine my work towards documentary photography. I currently have several long-term projects in progress: Alzheimer's disease amongst young people, and the story of friendship between a marginal and his dog, photographing youth in Bosnia The topics I cover are social issues, stories that often take place near my doorstep and on which I spend several months or even years. Since September 2017, I have been working for the media Les Jours, following the student movement at Nanterre University over the course of a year, an assignment close to my personal work. Since, October 2018, I’m working in a long term project about the youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina. My straightforward and spontaneous attitude leads me into a variety of encounters, from which I make pictures that I hope sincere and refreshing. I’m represented by Item collective. My work has been published in Les Jours, Parisien Week End, Paris Match, l’Equipe Magazine, Le Pèlerin, Grand Seigneur, Roads and Kingdoms, Aljazeera, La Croix, L’Humanité, Le Temps, The Guardian, Les Inrockuptibles…

 
 

Márton Mónus

 

Life after death

Approximately 50 heart transplantations are performed in Hungary annually. Recipients are always really scared before the operation not just because of the serious surgery but because of the big unknown: what’s going to happen and how, how will work the new heart in their chest, what about the pain or the rehabilitation, etc. The story is dedicated to these people to see what the stages of heart transplantation are, from the donor’s side to full recovery.

Márton Mónus

My professional photography career has been started as a laboratory technician at a unique photo lab in Budapest (2014-2016). Practically this is the only one, where analog photos are still developed and enlarged by experts not machines. Afterwards I worked as a photojournalist intern at 24.hu, an online news portal and then at HVG, one of the most popular weekly magazine and website in Hungary. Currently I work as a photojournalist at the Hungarian News Agency (MTI).

 
 

Nik Neubauer

 

I AM MOVING TO FRANCISCANS

This is a project about my good friend and a high school buddy Jan. He made an unusual decision to join Franciscans and live in monastery with being only 18 years old. I have documented his life since then.

Nik Neubauer

Nik Erik Neubauer is a documentary photographer from Ljubljana, Slovenia. He has graduated from photography on VIST - Department for photography and is currently studying a master study of photography at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. His work was presented in many galleries in Slovenia and abroad such as Museum of Contemporary Art Ljubljana, Layer House, Kranj, Fotopub festival in Novo Mesto, Galerija Fotografija, Ljubljana, LhGWR gallery, The Hague; His work was also presented by National Geographic Slovenia, Digital Camera and Romka Magazine. In 2018 he won first and third prize at Rovinj Photodays festival, in fashion category and was also the finalist Balkan Photo Awards.

 
 

Pavel Bogolepov

 

CRY TO HAVE IT BACK

As a photographer from former ‘Upper Hungary’, my travels often reveal me to small villages, the world of homesteads and I can see how once blossoming, these once lively locations are slowly disappearing. This is the area inhabited by Hungarians in Slovakia, which were the homes of many famous families in the old days. Their noble possessions were also the smaller or bigger farmsteads where the staff lived and worked in difficult circumstances. After the World War II., however, this system has finally ceased and nationalisation has engulfed everything. The descendants of the aristocracy disappeared, emigrated, leaving behind their belongings. That’s how it also happened with their property and movable property. Under socialism , noble castles and mansions were usually given home to state institutions or even military service. In fact, this moment could be called as ‘the starting point’ of that process which led to the complete abandonment and emptiness of the certain area. Without money and any possibilities of legislative, they are condemned to complete destruction. However, the exceptions are those ones that have been used and inhabited so far, that have been given a new role. After the change of regime, big transformations began in the bigger farmsteads. The descendants of servants passed away, migrated and they were replaced by new settlers poor Slovak and Gipsy families, consciously deployed from northern areas of the country. People here are completely left alone, the society does not care about them, they live there as on abandoned islands. The composition of the local population is: people from the periphery of the society, handicapped manual workers. They inhabit these areas today. But where do they come from? Are there exceptions?

Pavel Bogolepov

Pavel Bogolepov is a freelance photojournalist born in Czechoslovakia (1980). He is a photojournalism student at the National Association of Journalists in Budapest, currently focusing on social and environmental issues of central and Eastern Europe.

 
 

Pavel Nasadil

 

Awaiting trial

Inside juvenile prisons, Sierra Leone.

There are three correctional facilities for juvenile offenders in sierra leone. Two remand homes housing minors aged 15-18 years awaiting their trial. One is in Bo and one in Freetown. Approved school is a third facility for inmates already serving their sentence. It includes free schooling and workshops in carpentry and tailoring to prepare the inmates for life after their release.

"There is life and there is hope to move forward."
John Nyakeh Mambu / Prison Watch Sierra Leone

Pavel Nasadil

Pavel Nasadil was born in 1975 in the Czech Republic - architect and a freelance photographer. He bears no formal education in photography and was trained at street photography workshops in Thailand, Izrael, India, as well as Czech Republic since 2013 with photojournalist Jan Sibik. Pavel’s interest lies in portraying the situations of vulnerable members of contemporary society. He visits West Africa regularly and works on topics in Sierra Leone. He is an external correspondent for Czech magazine Respekt, and Canadian magazine Satellite 1-416. In 2018 he won the Czech Press Photo Award.

 
 

Stanislava Novgorodtseva

 

The Island of Crimea

In Crimea I saw the sea for the first time in my life. I was 8 and everything seemed magical...

In Vasily Aksyonov's dystopian novel The Island of Crimea written in 1979, Crimea is a prosperous independent state. Its ethnically Russian inhabitants enjoy all the comforts and freedoms absent in the neighboring USSR. A part of the population, nostalgic about their ethnic roots, believes that Crimea has to become a part of the USSR. The protagonist, a supporter of the reunion, only realizes his fatal mistake when for him, the merging of the two states ends in a tragedy.

In 1783, the Crimean peninsula became a part of the Russian Empire. It was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR by the Soviet government in 1954. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the peninsula was a part of Ukraine. In March of 2014, Crimea was annexed by Russia. The peninsula has been in the spotlight of the world community and at the center of political controversy ever since. At the same time, the sanctions against Russia and certain limitations on the territory of Crimea only strengthened the sense of its isolation.

Stanislava Novgorodtseva

Stanislava Novgorodtseva is a documentary photographer and visual storyteller. He was born in Moscow in 1989. He graduated from the Rodchenko Moscow School Of Photography And Multimedia (course "Photo In Media"). He is currently a student of The School of Modern Photography in Saint Petersburg DocDocDoc. He is a winner of the Alexander Yefremov Press Photo Contest, 1st prize, Russia, 2018. He participated in the Nikon-Noor Academy in Hungary in 2018.

 
 

Tamás Sóki

 

Border Barrier

This photographic series is about the Hungarian border fence which was constructed in the middle of the European migration crisis in 2015, with the aim to ensure border security by preventing immigrants from entering the country and the European Union illegally. The border barrier currently 522 km long on the Hungarian border with Serbia and Croatia. There are two different types of fences, one is a 3-4 meters high wired fence with barbed tape. The other version of the barrier contains two fences: one 3 meter and one 1,5 meter high with razor wire, 900 volts of electricity, infrared and thermal cameras, speakers and a service road between the two fences. My aim is to show the absurd reality of the border, where everything shows a significant alert but migrants and civilians are missing, therefore the reason for the barrier is lost. In 2015 the peak number of the migrants were more than ten thousand daily but nowadays only a couple of people try to get through the border.

Tamás Sóki

Born in Hungary in 1993, he started his carrier as an self-taught photographer who undertakes assignments for newspapers, magazines and companies. After his first year of work at Axel Springer Hungary, started his photography study at University of Applied Sciences, Budapest. During the university studies he started to work at Hungarian News Agency. After 4 years of work he continued his studies at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest and Aalto University in Helsinki. Now he is working as a freelance photographer based at Budapest.

 
 

Zsolt Balázs

 

Demonstration Picnic

On April 8th 2018, parliamentary elections were held in Hungary, which ended again with the victory of "Fidesz." Since the last few years, these changes have been affecting civil organizations and press organs, and the governments communication strategy (NER: National Co-operation System). The rising susoicion of electoral fraud caused a wave of protests in Hungary.

Demonstrations lack the reach and realistic goals, so in vain the initial high number and interest (the first time, tens of thousands of people walked to streets), the demonstrations are fragmented and with time the interest and participation are getting less and less.

People gather in smaller groups and spend time in a kind of social interaction: demonstration, as a picnic. Being a demonstration has become a fashionable relaxation form. Due to the changed social norms, radical changes are taking place not only in social relations but the national identity also transforming.

Zsolt Balázs

Bbecauseof the personal impact, I have primarily focused on examining current human relationships and behaviors, involving objects, a wider sense of the natural, artificial or abstract environment, and the impacts of these changes. For this, I chose photography as a medium and a creative tool, as I think nowadays it is one of the most noticeable forms of communication, with most option / possibility of visual language expression.

 
 

Zuzana Gogova

 

LOVE MOVES MOUNTAINS

Love moves mountains is a Slovak proverb referring to the power of love. This personal project is about life's circumstances which influenced my grandmother, my mother and also me in a certain way and at the same time how we coped with the presence of love or its absence. Love is a key in this project. It was either there or not or simply did not find the right way to the life. Starting this project created space to ask direct questions both my mum and my grandma who for instance shared very taboo topic of abortion especially for her old generation. Grandma hardly talk about it with her family but she described the feelings after going through it and feelings towards her husband afterward who did not stop her in a such decision what makes me inquire the role of the man in a traditional rural Slovakia, the role as a husband, lover or father.

Zuzana Gogova

Freelance photographer born in Slovakia (1990), traveling to the places and interested in a indepht projects. My academic background is in a social studies yet I have been photographing from the moment I started to study at university about 7 years ago as a way of exploration and creating a visual memory. I have decided to dedicate my time and energy primarily to photography while researching for my master thesis in a rural Serbia and writing about a gift economy. Allowing to think about myself as a photographer opened so many more ways to the people for me. Currently I am most drawn to the theme of a different aspects influencing a friendships in crisis (war, refugee crisis, environmental crisis).

 
 

Vika Gerasimova

 

Cancer the fool

This is Kate. She is 29. Kate teaches dance. She has a family; a husband Zhenya and a child Maks. Maks is 1 year and 6 months. One year ago Kate was diagnosed with breast cancer. When she was taking a shower, she felt that there was a small lump in her breast. She went to the hospital, where she was told that it could be the result of finishing breastfeeding. She was prescribed treatment, but this particular treatment is absolutely not allowed for people who have cancer. But fortunately she found a good doctor who prescribed her the correct treatment. So kate was eventually given several trajectories of chemotherapy. A month ago she was operated on. In Belarus as well as globally, breast cancer occupies 10% of all cases of cancer. Breast cancer occupies the first position among all the other kinds of cancer. The third and the fourth stages of cancer are on the first position in the death statistics. Most people who have cancer do not have access to any psychological support in the hospital, which is a serious problem. I am interested in Kate’s story because I am a young woman too, and I am afraid of cancer. I was shocked to find out how many young people are ill. I would like young women to pay more attention to their health, and have medical check-ups at least once a year. Even if one girl decides to go to the doctor after seeing this story, it would be a great victory for me.

Vika Gerasimova

My name is Vika Gerasimova, I’m 26 years old. I’m from Belarus. I live in Minsk. I graduated from the faculty of journalism in BSU. I worked for a Belarusian TV company for 5 years. I worked as an editor and administrator. At that time I was taking photos for a social project “The Names." This is a project I am currently still working on. Im my life I like reading and traveling, staying with my nearest and dearest. As a photographer I am focused on elderly people (their lives and living conditions), love, and people with rare genetic diseases or difficult diseases. I have never studied photography. The photos I take are straight from the heart, besides showing my point of view. In 2016 i was happy to meet Andrei Polikanov, Tatsiana Plotnikova and Yura Kozyrev. These people taught me to understand the heroes of my photostories better. So they showed me my mistakes in my photography. I am very grateful to them. I like the moment when I am taking a picture, it is impossible to explain in my own words. All the people who come into my life because of photography are kind and have beautiful souls.