Stockholm subway is said to be the world´s longest art exhibition- 110 kilometers long. Photographer Nina Varumo and Photographer Asa Sjostrom have been selected for the annual subway art exhibit at Mariatorget. It´s an initiative from SL´s major art venture and Mariatorget in Stockholm selects different photograpers each year. The exhibition will be held from 21 of January 2016 to december 2016.
I´m very honored to share the TT Photo Award nomination together with my dear friend Photographer Johan Bävman and photographer Linda Maria Thompson. I am nominated for my work with the Secret Camps that I´ve been working on the past three years. The project is going in to another phase at the moment, but it´s still an ongoing project. The next book together with Womens Rights Organisation are planned to 2017, and we have just started working on it.
TT Photo Award goes to one Swedish Photojournalist that captures the Swedish society in a traditional or innovative way through photojournalism. The Award day is on the 3rd of december 2015.
I´m thrilled to tell you that National Geographic interviewed me on how to work as a photographer at the Swedish Secret Camps. The NatGeo Proof blog is a great read for all those people that are interested in how stories are being told and how the photographer thinks about ethics and ways of shooting different stories, and why. Here´s a link to the interview: http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/20/a-photographer-explores-swedens-secret-summer-camps/
Today I´ve been featured in the Swedish Radio P4 Extra as their "Todays guest". Svjetlana Pastuhovic made the interview (only in Swedish) and we talked mostly about Moldova and the Secret Camps. If you are interested click on the link below. http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2151&artikel=6208858
Tomorrow I´m leaving for my fifth trip to Moldova, to work on a new project. I am very much looking forward to it and hopefully I will be able to post here and on Instagram.
I´m honored and very happy to have received this years Photodocumentary Award, from Arbetets Museum along with Per Anders Pettersson, Maja Daniels and Jan Nordström. It´s an award you can´t apply for. The Arbetets (Work) Museum has since 2001 awarded photographers for their projects or work with documentary focus. An award instituted to mark the importance of photojournalism and to stimulate new contemporary photo documentaries.
I´m honored to be one of the photographers selected to exhibit at the St Brieuc Photoreporter Festival later this year. So far renowned photographers like Carla Kogelman (South Africa), Arianna Sanesi (Italy), Kieran Dodds (GB), Majid Saeedi (Iran) and Ruth Macdowall (NZ) are among the selected photojournalists.
I received a grant from St Brieuc in collaboration with World Press Photo to continue my photographic journey in Moldova. The project "Silent Land" will be a monumental journey of silent portraits through a forgotten corner of Europe. I will document children sleeping in the fields guarding the crops and travel along the Dnietsr river that separates Moldova from Transnistria. In addition to the frozen conflict that characterizes the area around the Dnietsr river, Dniestr is also a haven for the Moldovans, a place were you go on vacation and young people party in the summer. I will work on the project in July, and hopefully I will blog and instagram when I have access to wifi.
My dear friend Emma Larsson and I get our new Anton Corbin books signed, at the WPP award days. We look very happy about this. Thank you Lasse for this picture!
World Press Photo Award days
Being in Amsterdam for the World Press Photo Award was really inspiring but also overwhelming. Each photographer had 10 minutes to present their excellent work and all photographers were deeply versed into their topics. Really strong and important stories were told along with working conditions. Photographers and the audience were sometimes crying and sometimes laughing.
Seeing all this important work made me forget that photojournalism is in crisis. It brings back hope to photojournalism and the impact it has on life. The final speech at the award ceremony by Mads Nissen was eloquent and truly inspiring, read his speech on World Press Photo website.
Except from long days of lectures, there was also time for networking and some really good fun with amazing people.
"Such an ethos might help to explain the spirit of San Francisco-based Catchlight's Activist Awards, an annual photography contest that honors both professional and emerging individuals whose visual work focuses on the issues -- underrepresented as they might be -- of our time. The 2014 winners certainly uphold the promise: Swedish professional Åsa Sjöström's "The Secret Camps" documents life in a secluded refuge for women and children, emerging Tamil photographer Amirtharaj Stephen's "Koodankulam: A Nuclear Plant In My Backyard" chronicles community protesters in opposition of the Indian and Russian Government's Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP)." Katherine Brooks, Huffington Post
Time Lightbox about the Catchlight Activist Award
"Since 2009, however, the industry has undergone radical change, and the traditional path for photographers to fund and distribute their stories has been severely disrupted with fewer editorial assignments available and greater competition in an ever-expanding field.
Recognizing that photography has entered a new era, PhotoPhilanthropy is operating its own transformation, relaunching under a new name: Catchlight, and with a broader mission, the organization tells TIME."
For the past three years, an annual, secret summer camp has been held for women and children in Sweden who've been subjected to domestic and honor violence. The nature and beauty of the camp, which is organized by the Women's Rights Organization in Malmö, is meant to bring some sort of normalcy to the difficult lives of its attendees. Children play and smile, some take a bath in the lake for the first time, and mothers and children have the opportunity to do things together without fear.
From Catchlight/PhotoPhilantrophy website:
Åsa Sjöström's essay from secret Swedish camps offers a fascinating point of discovery into the issue of domestic and honor violence against women and children. Her ongoing project, The Secret Camps, documents life at this secluded refuge for women and children seeking to spend a few days of freedom swimming, exploring nature, and relaxing together without fear.
The images are haunting, delicate and unforgettable, as children in the photographs hide their faces with flowers and fading balloons, or stand dripping on a pier, having just swam in the lake.
"As a photojournalist, I want to create awareness and also to induce a genuine situation between me and the people in my photographs," says Sjöström. "Through a close collaboration, the Women's Rights Organization and the women gave me the full confidence to stay in the camps and to do narrative photographs."
Judges' Statement: Sjöström's visually distinctive approach evocatively captures the transformational time at the camps for women and children who have suffered domestic violence, and in so doing, she brings attention to an issue that affects women and children all over the world. We feel it's extremely important to talk about this subject, and are delighted to honor Sjöström for her imaginative, creative and well-edited series.