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Best of 2018: Arnis Balcus, Riga Photomonth

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Georgs Avetisjans’ Homeland, published by Milda Books
Published by his own new publishing house Milda Books, the Latvian photographer Georgs Avetisjans forms a complex narrative of his birth place Kaltene, which is also known as the longest village in the country. It’s very Latvian in style – lots of sea, greyness, nostalgia and heaviness, but in a good way.

Vilis Ridzenieks by Vilis Ridzenieks, published by Neputns, Latvia
Vilis Ridzenieks was the best-known Latvian photographer from the first half of the 20th century, yet it’s the first book ever by a photographer from that time period from this country. It’s a massive book that offers a diverse panorama – from everyday rural landscapes and cityscapes to the experience of the First World War, the proclamation of the Latvian state, the War of Liberation, and the Second World War. Most of the images even Latvians had not seen before.

Maria Kapajeva’s You can call him another man, published by Kaunas
A creative and fascinating look at a family archive by a UK-based Estonian artist. Published by Kaunas Photography Gallery, one of the most active photo institutions in the Baltics, it was shortlisted for the Aperture/Paris Photo First Photobook Award – probably the most prestigious photobook award.

Spread from You can call him another man by Maria Kapajeva, published by Kaunas Photography Gallery, 2018
Spread from You can call him another man by Maria Kapajeva, published by Kaunas Photography Gallery, 2018

The launch of ISSP Gallery in Riga
Run by an organisation which is known for their highly acclaimed summer workshops in Kuldiga, the venue is a nice, small and inspiring project space offering works by their alumni and residency artists.

Riga Photomonth
Since I am fully involved it’s my main event of the year. It’s both thrilling and exhausting for me, but fresh, entertaining and buzzy for others – and a great place to discover photography from Eastern and Northern Europe.

Riga Photomonth in progress, image courtesy Alnis Balcus

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