Project

After the end of the Cold War, the people of Southeastern Europe were confronted with the collapse of communist regimes and the difficult transition to market economies. Some of these societies also faced conflict and war. The flood of images generated by local and international journalists depicted the region as bleak and mired in crisis. As the Balkans have moved on over the past few years towards a more stable future, it’s important that this impression of the region be brought up to date.

In 2010, World Press Photo and Robert Bosch Stiftung launched the joint project "SEE New Perspectives: Master Class for Professional Photographers from Southeastern Europe". The aim of the master class was to advance talented photographers in their professional development and to strengthen their narrative skills. The project also challenged the photographers’ perceptions of their native countries and their region by encouraging them to explore new perspectives on life in the region beyond borders and prevailing stereotypes.

The master class took place in September 2010 in Berlin, where the photographers, together with international tutors Donald Weber, Regina Anzenberger and Silvia Omedes, developed ideas for individual photo essays reflecting the theme “new perspectives”. After the master class, the photographers set out to produce photo essays covering topical themes from their neighboring countries. In early 2011, World Press Photo and Robert Bosch Stiftung provided six additional grants to give the photographers the opportunity to continue their search for new perspectives on Southeastern Europe.

The final photo essays are a record of life in the Balkans in 2010 and 2011. The topics range from migrant workers commuting between France and Romania through marriage brokers in rural Serbia to the international ambitions of a young wrestling champion in Bulgaria.

As people from the region, the photographers have worked inside a number of subcultures to provide new insights and to stimulate fresh thinking about a region where stereotypes are all too familiar.

The photographers are:

Andrei Pungovschi, Romania
Armend Nimani, Kosovo
Bevis Fusha, Albania
Dženat Dreković, Serbia
Eugenia Maximova, Bulgaria
Ferdi Limani, Kosovo
Jasmin Brutus, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Jetmir Idrizi, Kosovo
Marko Risović, Serbia
Nemanja Pančić, Serbia
Octav Ganea, Romania
Petrut Calinescu, Romania
Sanja Knežević, Serbia
Tomislav Georgiev, Macedonia
Vesselina Nikolaeva, Bulgaria