The Balkan Photo Festival and the photography contest the Balkan Photo Award are legal successors of the former Bosnia Herzegovina’s Photo of the Year Festival. The winner announcement and the entire festival program traditionally takes place in Sarajevo, in late January at the premises of the Sarajevo City Hall.

The festival contains three types of programs: photo contest itself, education and networking of the participating photographers through a series of social activities.

The Contest includes a process of selecting 90 photos taken during the past year in eleven categories (Daily Life, Portrait, Creative Photography, Nature and Environment, News and Events, Sports, Fashion, Mobile Phone, Cultural Heritage, Nude Photography and Photo Reportage/Photo Series). The photos are selected by jury members appointed at the invitation of the Balkan Photo Festival organization comitee. The photo contest opens for entries in early December and the photographers are able to apply by 5 January.

This is followed by judging of photographs by BPA jury members and the preparation of the photo exhibition. The exhibition of the 90 shortlisted photos opens on the last Friday of January. The winners in five categories are announced at a ceremony in Sarajevo’s City Hall which also marks the beginning of the Festival’s program. The BPA is international contest, open to all photographers.

The Education program is organized in the days following the BPA opening ceremony and includes lectures and workshops held by renowned and internationally acclaimed names in photography.

The Networking program includes round-tables, drinks/coffee with photographers in town, photographic safaris, concerts and entertainment events in order to give the local and international photographers a chance to socialize outside the official program.

By applying for the Balkan Photo Award contest you have a chance to promote your work internationally and to present it to the eyes of some of world’s top professionals. Participating at the BPA ensures media attention for your work and can mean an important point in your future career. In addition, by taking part in the Festival’s educational and other activities you get free-of-charge lessons and a chance to exchange experiences.

Opening ceremony of the festival. Held in City Hall in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Opening ceremony of the festival. Held in City Hall in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Photo: Anto Magzan/PIXSELL


URBAN Association was founded in Sarajevo 2007. with the goal of promoting culture in of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The goals of the association are to promote young artists and to gather creative people and to provide them a space for communication.

Biggest project of Association is War Childhood Book&Museum:

Everything began with a crowd-sourced book project in 2010, when young Bosnian author Jasminko Halilović asked his peers “What did a war childhood mean to you?” After collecting more than 1000 short recollections (up to 160 characters) from more than 1000 people who were children during the war, he set out to edit them into a book. In 2013 Jasminko published “War Childhood” in the Bosnian language. Since then, the book has been translated into five more languages and further published in German and Japanese.

URBAN also has appeared as publisher of many books and as organizer of biggest photo festival in Bosnia and Herzegovina – “Fotografija godine BiH (BH Photo of the year)” later Balkan Photo Festival, several exhibitions, concerts and book presentations. Also, self-production of Urban made a many web-sites, photo and book projects and designs. So far, projects are promoted in association in Norway, Macedonia, Sweden, Denmark and San Marino.

Furthermore, we have recognized the need for a platform that will provide the grounds for cooperation, learning, and idea exchange between all those that are interested in or use photography as the means of their livelihood. Web platform www.fotografija.ba started in 2008 as a place where local amateur and professional photographers can communicate. Shortly after it was embraced by hundreds of photographers across the region.