How should international photo exhibitions function during lockdowns? Is it possible for artists to visit such events if they are not allowed to cross country borders due to quarantine restrictions? Is there any chance to show photography projects to a wide audience, if the number of people allowed to visit galleries simultaneously is dramatically limited?

The Bird in Flight Prize ’20 curators offer us a new format of the exhibition experience: you can either see the projects by top-10 finalists walking around downtown Kyiv or watch them through street cameras anytime you want. Find out more about this year’s awards run by the Bird in Flight magazine.

Encounter by Silvia Rosi, Italy (Lvivska square)

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What is Bird in Flight Prize? 

Bird in Flight Prize is an international award established in 2018 by the online magazine, Bird in Flight. The idea of the contest is to support photographers who break traditional artistic standards and discover new ways to tell stories using photography.

The contest encourages artistic freedom and diversity, and participants are not limited to subjects, editing tools, or creative methods. The jury of the Bird in Flight Prize ‘20 includes curators, photographers, artists, and photo editors from the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, and Sweden.

450 applicants from 53 countries took part in Bird in Flight Prize ‘20.

Woman Go No’gree by Gloria Oyarzabal, Spain (Reitarska Street, 9B)


Top-10 finalists and their projects 

In November, 10 photo series were shortlisted for Bird in Flight Prize ’20. Authors from Italy, Germany, Peru, Russia, the USA, and Spain are among the finalists. The project Rules for Fighting by Peruvian photographer Paola Jimenez Quispe has become the Bird in Flight Prize ‘20 winner.

A story behind the Rules for Fighting project told by its author:

One day I googled my dad’s name and found an article where I found his photograph. He was covered in blood in the seat of his car. I recognized his shirt.

“Rules for fighting” is a project about my father’s murder in 1998. His name was Feliciano, and he had a business in Lima, Peru. After several years, I began to investigate deeper into his murder. I had this urge to build a relationship with him.

In addition to talking with my family (whom for many years failed to talk about the subject) and with close friends, I searched in my house for evidence of his existence. That’s how I found some objects, police documents, which gave me specific details: A plastic bag full of undeveloped film rolls, videocassettes, and a notebook. I try to reconstruct this story to build my identity as I grow up.

The murder of my father and the trauma that my family went through will always be with me, but while creating this, I was able to feel the grief I could not manage as a kid.

Bird in Flight Prize ’20 Announced 10 Finalists Explore Their Projects Through Street Cameras


The shortlist of Bird in Flight Prize ’20 also includes:
  • Woman Go No’gree, by Gloria Oyarzabal, Spain
  • Blind River, by Alex Turner, USA
  • Corona Rhapsody, by Rafael Heygster, Germany
  • Cut Me A Smile, by Karoline Schneider, Germany
  • Search The Secret Of The Forest, by Pietro Lo Casto, Italy
  • Encounter, by Silvia Rosi, Italy
  • I Died 22 Times, by Rafael Heygster, Germany
  • Güle Güle by Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni, Italy
  • [Bird in Flight Prize ‘20 winner] Rules For Fighting, by Paola Jimenez Quispe, Peru
  • The Book Of Miracles, by Igor Elukov, Russia
  • Read about any of them on the web site of the Bird in Flight Prize ’20.

Cut Me A Smile by Karoline Schneider, Germany (Yaroslaviv Val Street, between 15 and 17)


Hybrid exhibition by Bird in Flight Prize ‘20

This year, the exhibition runs both online and offline. The photos from the shortlist were taped in the open air, downtown Kyiv and street cameras were installed in front of each project so anybody could watch the live streaming. The online exhibition will operate till December 6, and the street one will last until the photos are destroyed by time.

In addition, you can see all the photos on the main page of the Bird in Flight Prize ’20 website. To emphasize the democratic and open nature of the exhibition, the organizers made its online version interactive. By clicking on the photos, you can move them around the screen and determine the laws of your ‘online gallery’.

“This year we decided to reveal our finalists in a new way as well. With the start of the pandemic, it became clear that we are definitely able to do without exhibition areas. Besides, we wanted to talk about photography with a wider audience”, — comments Lyolya Goldstein, the curator of Bird in Flight Prize ’20.

Güle Güle by Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni, Italy (Andriivskyi Descent, 17)

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