First Place

Riders of Freedom

Artem Puchkov


A long train whistle blows in the distance and our freight train starts gradually speeding up. As soon as we leave the station, the guys saddle up the walls of the open wagon. I think about the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. If there were horsemen of Freedom, train hoppers would definitely be among them. Trainsurfing, train hopping, freight hopping - riding the outside of the train has a lot of names and a lot of different branches. Some people ride on suburban trains, some cling to inter-city trains and even high-speed ones, some are particularly interested in subway. Riders of Freedom is a project about freight train travelers. Through seven trips with them, I drove 3870 km, visited St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Vladimir, Bryansk, Orel, Pskov and even reached Murmansk.

Born in 1994 in Ulan-Ude, Republic of Buryatia, Artem Puchkov has been living in Moscow since 2005. In 2020-2021 studied documentary photography at “Docdocdoc” school. Particularly interested in exploring the topics of low-budget travel, downshifting, and freeganism.

[ ISSUE REPORTING PICTURE STORY ] A long-term project on a single topic. It could focus on science, news, politics or any number of topics, ranging from coverage of a single person to an entire community. The project must convey a deep understanding of the subject. Each submission consists of 10 to 40 images. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 3 submissions. All images must be taken in 2020 or 2021. Stories on COVID-19 should not be entered in this category.

Judges for Issue Reporting Picture Story
Ikuru Kuwajima
Tanvi Mishra
Sanjit Das
Maika Elan
Oded Wagenstein