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    Say cheese! project

    December 2012 – June 2015

    Interakcia Foundation developed the project and acted as the consortium leader.

    Project budget: € 622,700; EU’s contribution – € 497,500 (79% of total).

    The project was funded by the European Union under the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme.

    Project location: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine.

    The project aimed to revive professional and creative links between photographers in six Eastern Partnership countries; such links had been almost non-existent since the collapse of the USSR.

    During the project, photographers learned from each other, benefited from new professional opportunities, created high-quality photos inspired by each other’s cultures and experiences, and planned new common initiatives.

    The project consortium included professional associations of photographers from six countries:
    Belarusian Public Association Photoiskusstvo, in cooperation with Advertising Private Enterprise Riftur;
    Armenian Photographers National Association;
    Association of Photographers of Georgia, together with Best Seller LTD;
    Union of Photo Artists of Moldova;
    National Union of Artist Photographers of Ukraine;
    Azerbaijan Photographers Union.

    Who, if not a photographer, is best at demonstrating the variety of six Eastern Partnership countries and pinpointing common traits and individual peculiarities of nature, culture and way of life?


    During the project, photographers from six countries had been creating photos that reflected national flavor, traditions, ethnic peculiarities, history, landscapes, people, events and other sides of life in the region.

    Project outcomes:
    About 1,600 photographers from all six Eastern Partnership countries took part on an online survey aimed to analyze the state of photography development in the region.
    For the first time in many years, photo associations of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine came together for an international conference to discuss the current state of photography development in these countries.
    Five EaP associations of photographers joined the Federation of European Professional Photographers (FEP).
    Two massive photo competitions took place in the EaP region during the project. Participation in the Photoman contest (November 2013 – January 2014) was open to amateurs only, and ‘My Country in the Eastern Partnership’ contest (May-July 2014) was available to both professionals and amateurs.
    25 winners of the contest ‘My Country in Eastern Partnership’ took part in photo plein airs in all six project countries.
    More than 60 amateur photographers who participated in the Photoman contest successfully graduated from the pilot course of the Eastern Partnership online photo school created by professional photographers from six countries.
    More than 350 photographers in six countries – primarily from smaller cities and rural areas – took part in a series of professional workshops to enhance their photographic skills.
    All six partner countries organized portfolio reviews, or business forums, where amateur and professional photographers had a chance to present and pitch their best works to potential clients. Business forums gathered almost 250 photographers and more than 60 representatives of publishing houses, magazines, news and advertising agencies, photo banks, and galleries.
    Best photo works created during the project were featured in the professional online magazine for photographers from the Eastern Partnership region, exhibited in Minsk, Kyiv, Chisinau, Erevan, Tbilisi, and Baku, and presented in the Eastern Partnership Family Photo Album that became the culmination of the entire project. Printed copies of the album are now being disseminated in the EaP countries and in the EU.