Unusual winning project of the PhotoVoice Awards on rural community of Belarus

March 6, 2015

Congratulations to Yanina Shevchenko who won the competition with her series ‘Vanishing’ that focuses on a disappearing rural community in Belarus!

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Yanina Shevchenko is the grand-prize winner of the inaugural theprintspace PhotoVoice Awards!

‘At the moment the population of Gonchanskoe is less than 200 people. In 2013 there were 14 pupils in local school. In the summer 2014 the school closed down. The village is home to primarily pensioners.
“Gonchanskoe doesn’t have any future,” Ivan told me. “All working, living force, young people under 40 left the village and won’t come back. The peat enterprise was based on the old model. There are no necessary facilities. Youth left to more promising enterprise. This is our sad story.”
The decay of many Belarus villages is likely to continue without the help from the government, investors, infrastructure and social services.’

PhotoVoice is the award-winning charity which uses photography to deliver positive social change. This year, in partnership with theprintspace, they launched the first of a new series of quarterly photographic competitions, the first of which has just closed.

Watch the video below for the highlights of the show, and comments by our lead judge Tim Flach and grand-prize winner Yanina Shevchenko!

Tom Elkins, CEO of PhotoVoice, said:

‘This first competition has really been a fantastic way to see how photographers have interpreted some of the values which underpin our work. It sets a high standard for future competitions, and we are all grateful for the high quality of entries we received, as well as the opportunity to partner with theprintspace.’

The first edition opened earlier this month, and was judged by acclaimed photographer Tim Flach. Tim had this to say:

‘I was impressed with the range and quality of the entrants for theprintspace and PhotoVoice awards, and picking an overall winner was a difficult task. Yanina Shevchenko’s entry stood out in a strong field – her photographs have a haunting quality to them, and are a powerful interpretation on the theme of reflection.’

Yanina, along with the shortlisted artists, has her series showing in a group exhibition at theprintspace, and in an innovative new move the shortlisted images are available to purchase online and at the exhibition via theprintspace’s new technology, thehub.

You can see the shortlisted entrants’ galleries here: Maria Falconer, Gualtiero FisauliMark Heathcote, Alexander Mourant and Carol Sharp.




The exhibition is open from Friday 6 March, Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm until closing on Tuesday 17 March, 2pm. You can find us at 74 Kingsland Road, E2 8DL, London.

Find out more information about the 2014/2015 winter edition theprintspace PhotoVoice Awards here. Keep an eye on our blog for the announcement of the next competition, and how you can enter!


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