Award of Excellence

Fairy Tales End

Elena Kalyuzhnaya


In Russia fabrication of criminal cases has become a daily practice. There are no official statistics that would help assess the scale, but according to a member of the Presidential Council for Human Rights, every fifth prisoner in Russia is either not involved in a crime or is imprisoned for more serious crimes. Regardless of status, political views, integrity and law-abidingness, a person may face criminal prosecution. A criminal case can arise both because of the persecution, and simply to fulfill the reporting of law enforcement officers. The ordinariness and absurdity of such situations inspired me to create a project. In a situation where it is difficult to oppose anything to the system, it often remains only to be ironic. In this project I use the folklore images of Russian culture in order to emphasize the theatricality of the falsified cases. I stage these cases using materials at hand, just as it happens in absurd criminal proceedings. All photos are based on real cases.

Elena Kalyuzhnaya is a contemporary documentary photographer based in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Human place in a society, PTSD emotions and life in post-wars and problematic regions are main topics of her work.

[ CULTURAL PRACTICES ] A set of photographs that increases the understanding and appreciation of a cultural practice. It can be about festivals, religion, traditions, or contemporary cultural trends. Submissions do not have to adhere to documentary principles. Alternate processes and digital manipulations are allowed. Each submission consists of 5 to 20 images. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 2 submissions. The images must be taken in 2020 or 2021.

Judges for Cultural Practices
Anush Babajanyan
Liang-Pin Tsao
Nyimas Laula
Samuel He
Jean Chung