An Albanian photographer, Ilir Tsuoko has been shortlisted for the prestigious The New East Photo Prize.
Tsouko covers social and political issues, with an emphasis on migration stories, collaborating with international NGOs and foundations such as MSF, Mission Lifeline, and Border Violence Monitoring. His submission, Starting Over: From the Donbass to Chernobyl centres on the millions of people displaced by the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine who have been forced to resettle in villages around the Chernobyl exclusion zone.
The photographer was born in Albania in 1990 and grew up in Athens, Greece. He works between Germany and Greece focussing on long term projects in photojournalism and documentary photography. Ilir’s work has been published by notable publications in Germany, Greece, England, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, and other mostly European countries. His work has been exhibited at Plymouth University Portland Square, marking the end of the Refugee Week 2016 and in Berlin at Beloposkiy Galerie.
The award celebrates contemporary photography from Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia and Central Asia. It specifically recognises photographers who offer representations of social, cultural, and physical landscape aspects of their regions.
The Prize is a project of the Calvert 22 Foundation and is supported by the online magazine, The Calvert Journal.
According to organisers, “the Prize seeks to broaden perceptions of the New East through the medium of photography. In its two previous editions, the prize has had over 1700 entries from 25 New East countries.”
The winner of the prize will have the opportunity to be featured in The Calvert Journal and will win GBP 1000 to develop a new body of work. They will also receive money for photography equipment. There is also the Mentorship Award up for grabs that will bestow a full-tuition scholarship offered by Spazio Labo Photography to attend a course by Davide Monteleone and Spazio Labo.
This years competition had over 700 entries.