Open Call for Kaunas Photo 2018


KAUNAS PHOTO is the largest annual photographic festival in the Baltic States, based in Kaunas, Lithuania, since 2004. Maintaining its strong international character, KAUNAS PHOTO is a platform of priemieres of emerging talents. “Photo World” magazine (China) described KAUNAS PHOTO festival as a spot of the Europe’s Crossroads of photography. In the recent years, KAUNAS PHOTO took a direction to pursue an objective to be an audience and photographer -friendly festival. KAUNAS PHOTO program usually features works of 30-50 Artists, seen by 45000-70000 exhibition visitors.

On February 16, 2018, celebrating the Centenary of the Restored Independence of Lithuania, in collaboration with LensCulture, KAUNAS PHOTO festival, announces an Open Call for its 15th edition, offering an array of opportunities for photographers from inclusion to festival program, artistic residencies to the New KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award, consisting of a solo exhibition at the largest photography gallery in the Baltic States, Kaunas Photography Gallery and a 2500 EUR monetary prize.

KAUNAS PHOTO festival opening events will be held between September 5-9, 2018.

Who can submit? What works are expected? 

While celebrating the reestablished freedom of Lithuania, KAUNAS PHOTO festival is open to Photographers’ proposals on any subject, theme, topic, style of photography. Any solidly built photographic story or a robust conceptual, aesthetic work presentable in a series of 12-15 images is accepted. If video materials make inseparable part of a project, the set of 12-15 still images must be accompanied by links to youtube or vimeo addresses, included in the description of work. 1-3 views of exhibition installations, if necessary, can be among the 15 images of an entry. No single images, please.

All Photographers/Artists, regardless of their age, nationality and place of residence are invited to submit work. KAUNAS PHOTO festival is known for its focus on documentary, but all styles, genres and approaches to photography are accepted and exhibited. Both completed works and those in progress can are welcomed.

Photographers/Artists with KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award in focus, should ask themselves – “is my created body of work ready for a space of 200 square metres?”. “YES” means it is worth entering works to the Open Call.

Deadline April 4, 2018, 23:59 entrant’s local time. No extensions!

Photographers/Artists are encouraged to enter works as early as possible, since the festival curatorial team will be reviewing and studying submissions as soon as they will be arriving.

Entry consists of:

  • title of the work;
  • 12-15 images (2400 px on the longer side, JPG 90% quality);
  • short description of the work (up to 250 words);
  • short written BIO (up to 250 words), follwed by photographer’s contacts: email, phone number/s, mailing address.
  • Non-refundable entry fee of 29 EUR, per series entered, payable at the time of submission. No more than two series per artist.
    For the best of understanding, texts must be in English.
    Entries via only. Direct link:

3 Types of Opportunities in one Call

There are multiple ways for Photographers/Artists submitting works to Open call can to be enrolled in Kaunas Photo 2018:

  • The New KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award – Finalist’s and Winner’s exhibitions;
  • KAUNAS PHOTO festival program, including Outdoor exhibitions presented in squares in Kaunas, Exhibitions in galleries and Projection events;
  • Artist Residencies aiming to create works in Kaunas or other localities in Lithuania on topics proposed by the festival and accepted by the artists.

Last, but not least, is the team of decision-making curators on the Jury panel, who will review all entries and eventually give them exposure through their platforms, institutions and networks.

The New KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award, updated with 2500 EUR prize

The KAUNAS PHOTO STAR tradition started in 2010, awarding the best participant of portfolio reviews with a solo exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery and paying respect to a probable future star of photography. In 2018, the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Winner will also receive a 2500 EUR prize.  Possible income tax obligations, eventually imposed by the country of citizenship of the Winner, will be his/her responsibility.

Open Call from KAUNAS PHOTO festival is followed by the Jury work that will select the shortlist of Finalists. All the shortlisted Photographers/Artists will have their exhibitions at the festival in 2018. The number of Finalists will be recommended by the festival and decided by the Jury. The Winner, selected from the Finalists by a joint board of curators of KAUNAS PHOTO festival and Kaunas Photography Gallery, will celebrate his/her exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery and receive the monetary prize. The decision regarding the Winner cannot be appealed.

The exhibitions of both, Finalists’ and the Winner’s works will open on Friday, September 7, 2018. The KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2018 Winner is only revealed upon opening of the doors of Kaunas Photography Gallery.

Every KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2018 Finalist agrees:

  • to provide the festival with a set of 30 – 40 digital files of print quality and additional materials, if needed: texts, materials for installations, etc. The materials will serve for detailed assessment of projects in the progress of selection of the Winner, as well as for the production of the exhibition, if such decision is taken between KAUNAS PHOTO festival and the Photographer/Artist;
  • to provide information about existing physical exhibitions of works submitted to the Open Call and technical data for logistics, insurance. Based on designated exhibition spaces and other criteria, the festival will either cover the transportation and insurance fees of existing exhibition or produce the exhibition in Lithuania from digital files, provided by the Photographer/Artist;
  • to propose possible ways of exhibiting his or her work, but accept the final decisions of the exhibition architects of KAUNAS PHOTO festival;
  • that no site-specific or content informtion about Finalists’ exhibitions will be disclosed until the date and hours of the exhibition openings.

Every Finalist is entitled to:

  • a travel allowance of up to 150 EUR, in return to proof of travel expenses, such as tickets, invoices, receipts of payment, bearing amounts paid, dates of travel, name of the traveller. The allowance is payable during / after the visit to Kaunas. Citizens of European Union countries will receive travel allowances via bank transfers;
  • a minimum of two nights of hotel accommodation in Kaunas at a hotel booked by the festival.

The KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2018 Winner receives:

  • a solo exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery (200 sq. metres);
  • a monetary prize of 2500 EUR, payable to the Winner’s bank account, after the opening of the exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery, but not later than October 31, 2018.

Jury Members

  • Fred BoucherPhotaumnales festival and Usimage Biennale (Clermont/Beauvais, France), Director
  • Elena BoilleInternazionale magazine (Rome, Italy), Deputy editor-in-chief and photo editor
  • Lydia Dorner – Musée de l’Elysée (Lausanne, Switzerland), Assistant Curator
  • Bettina Leidl Kunsthaus Wien (Vienna, Austria), Director
  • Kristin Kern – Fotografisk Center (Copenhagen, Denmark), Director
  • Ângela Ferreira Independent Curator. Artistic advisor of Photography Museum of Fortaleza (Brazil)
  • Alessandra CapodacquaIndependent Curator and Professor at New York University Florence (Italy)
  • Donatas Stankevičius Kaunas Photography Gallery (Lithuania), Curator
  • Gintaras Česonis Kaunas Photography Gallery (Lithuania), Director
  • Mindaugas KavaliauskasKAUNAS PHOTO festival (Lithuania), Founder & Director

Previous Winners of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award

The KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Winners have held their exhibitions at Kaunas Photography Gallery (exhibition year follows the year of the title):

  • Mayumi Suzuki (Japan, 2017)
  • Julien Lombardi (France, 2016)
  • Jeniffer Thoreson (USA, 2015)
  • Andrejs Strokins (Latvia, 2013)
  • Andrei Liankevich (Belarus, 2012)
  • Luca Zanier (Switzerland, 2011)
  • Eric Lusito (France, 2010)

Artist Residencies @ KAUNAS PHOTO

In recent years, KAUNAS PHOTO festival started making stronger emphasis on inviting Artists to create works using their developed style in Kaunas and/or smaller Lithuanian towns and villages. In 2017, six Artists were invited to realize works about water-based subjects or community related projects in small Lithianian towns or villages.

Duration of the residency 7-21 days. The festival engages in paying an international return trip costs of up to 250 EUR, accommodation (up to 14 days in Kaunas or up to 21 days in small towns of Lithuania), an Rights fee for the created work of 750 EUR, payable against an invoice, delivered by the Photographer/Artist, and securing the KAUNAS PHOTO festival’s right to exhibit or publish the works created during the Residency. Additional costs for special purposes of a project, might be considered to be covered by KAUNAS PHOTO.  The Photographers/Artists selected for Residencies, are expected to deliver a minimum of one public artist talk and produce a body of work of 30-45 images, in case of traditional photography, on agreed subject.

Works involving and studying communities will be of particular interest for choosing the candidates for Residencies. Their selection will be based on the existing work, style, topics, which could be adapted to Kaunas or partnering small towns. Candidates will be contacted for availability and interest to undertake the project proposals. The choice of candidates for Artist Residencies is independent of the Jury vote and the Shortlist, and can start before the Open Call deadline. Therefore, Photographers/Artists aiming at residencies are encouraged to enter works as early as possible.

Inclusion into KAUNAS PHOTO festival program

If selected to exhibit at KAUNAS PHOTO festival, Photographers/Artists will be contacted personally. Their names will not appear on KAUNAS PHOTO web site until the publication of the program of the festival.

Photographers/Artists do not need to make investments. In most cases, the works are produced to match site-specific settings at the expense of the festival. If the artists’ works are available to be transported, are in reasonable distance within the EU and match the general idea of exhibition and space in Kaunas, the festival covers transportation and insurance of works.

Non-Finalist artists, included in the KAUNAS PHOTO festival program, are entitled to a hotel accommodation for at least 2 days in Kaunas (at festival’s chosen hotel), only in cases when they are available to be present at exhibition openings or purposely arranged guided tours. A modest contribution to travel costs is offered to all participants of exhibitions, payable after the completion of the trip to Kaunas and based on invoices, receipts.

KAUNAS PHOTO 2018 Timetable

February 15– April 4, 23:59 – Entrant’s local time – Open Call for entries;
March 20 – April 10 – Jury reviewing portfolios;
April 20 – Announcement of the Shortlist of Finalists on and festival’s social profiles
April 30 – last day for Finalists to transfer 30-40 hi-res images to the festival for exhibition preparations;
From the second part of May – outdoor exhibitions across Kaunas;
September 7 – Openings of exhibitions of Finalists and the Winner;
September 5 – 8 – Openings of other exhibitions;
Until the end of October – Artist talks, screenings, educational events.

Author’s rights and other legal aspects

While submitting works to the KAUNAS PHOTO 2018 open call via LensCulture, a photographer declares that he/she is the only owner of the economic author’s rights to the pictures submitted. Photographer agrees that the pictures submitted can be reproduced in materials and forms of artistic or media presentation of KAUNAS PHOTO festival outcomes, such as flyers, invitation cards, post cards, posters, catalogs, projections, slideshows, web sites, including but not limited to that of KAUNAS PHOTO festival for unlimited time in unlimited territory without any royalty payments. Entrants accept their responsibility for the right to the image of persons, models, places, objects or trade marks appearing in the pictures submitted to KAUNAS PHOTO festival.

KAUNAS PHOTO festival does not limit the photographers’ /artists’ moral or economic rights to promote, broadcast, exhibit, publish and sell their works submitted to KAUNAS PHOTO festival’s Open Call.

Prints produced by KAUNAS PHOTO festival, can be either left at the festival’s collection or destroyed after the exhibition, based on the decision of the Photographer/Artist. In 2017, ”The Nemunas Journey” exhibition by Vitus Saloshanka (Belarus/Germany), partly created during two Residencies provided by KAUNAS PHOTO (2015 and 2017), after the first show during the festival in 2017, was presented at Prienai Cultural Centre and Prospektas Gallery of Photography in Vilnius, with artist being present to all opening events, trips & accommodation covered by the inviting parties.

About KAUNAS PHOTO festival

KAUNAS PHOTO aims to be the stage for the future stars of photography. Being a part of Photo Festival Union and Festivals Of Light Organization, KAUNAS PHOTO festival is the longest-running photographic festival in the Baltic states is a platform for dialogue around contemporary photographic creation between North and South, East and West.

Today, more and more competitions (even highly ranked ones), galleries and festivals practice requesting artists to pay for almost every aspect of participation and exhibiting their works – from high entry fees to production of works, travel, accommodation. The recent objective of KAUNAS PHOTO is to implement measures that would allow it to be a more and more artist-friendly festival.

For references, please consult a friend who has exhibited in Kaunas and visited his/her exhibition, especially after 2010.

KAUNAS PHOTO is co-funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture and Kaunas Municipality.

Enter works until April 4, 2018 (23:59 your local time) via LensCulture.

LensCulture is a global community of photographers and industry professionals. As one of the world’s largest online destinations for discovering contemporary photography, LensCulture also provides some of the best opportunities for global exposure, international recognition, ongoing learning and creative development. LensCulture is committed to inspiring and empowering its thriving community of over 2.5 million, across 145 countries and in 15 languages around the world.

Echo Gone Wrong
February 19, 2018
Published in Calls from Lithuania
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