Jury – Balkan Photo Award 2017

Bénédicte Kurzen (Jury Chair)

Bénédicte Kurzen (Jury Chair)Bénédicte Kurzen (France, 1980) photographic career began when she moved to Israel in 2003, covering hard news as a freelancer in the Gaza Strip, Iraq and Lebanon. For the past ten years, Bénédicte has been covering conflicts and socio-economical changes in Africa. Her body of work “Amaqabane”, on the life of former anti-apartheid combatants was produced for prestigious World Press Joop Swart Masterclass 2008.

In 2011, she received a grant from the Pulitzer Center, which allowed her to produce a body of work on Nigeria, “A Nation Lost to Gods”. Her work has been screened and exhibited at Visa pour l’Image and was nominated for the Visa d’Or in 2012. After becoming a NOOR full member in 2012, she decided to move to Lagos, from where she could pursue her coverage of Africa, with a focus on Nigeria. Alongside, she became an adjunct lecturer at the American University of Nigeria in journalism.

More info HERE

Jim Casper (editor-in-chief at Lensculture)

Jim Casper (editor-in-chief at Lensculture)Jim Casper is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of LensCulture, one of the leading online destinations to discover contemporary photography from around the world. As an active member in the international photography community, Casper travels around the world to meet with photographers and review their portfolios, curates art exhibitions, writes about photography and culture, lectures, conducts workshops, serves as an international juror and nominator for key awards, and is an advisor to arts and education organizations.

LensCulture is a global photography network and online magazine celebrating current trends of contemporary photography in art, media, politics, commerce and popular cultures worldwide. LensCulture sponsors four international photography awards per year, and currently reaches an audience of more than 2.8 million every month.

Máxim Panés (editor-in-chief at Dodho Magazine)

Máxim Panés (editor-in-chief at Dodho Magazine)Editor and founder of dodho Magazine. He began her career at an early age in the world of image and design. Maxim Panés maintains relations with the best agencies and publishers to promote the photographers careers published in Dodho Magazine, Dodho´s team is responsible to some extent of the rapid success that Magazine has had in the world photography industry. Dodho Magazine is published daily in its online version and every six months in its printed version. Each version is focused on a totally different audience, while the online version seeks a public as broad as possible, the print version is aimed exclusively at a more professional audience such as galleries, agencies and other professionals in the photographic and art industry, both editions have as objective and priority standing out  any good photographer or project within the crowd. Highlighting their work and offering the right promotion tools.

Maral Deghati (Manager Education at the World Press Photo Foundation)

Maral Deghati (Manager Education at the World Press Photo Foundation)A photo-editor by trade, Maral Deghati has 15+ years of practical working experience in photojournalistic reporting, management and curating. With good field experience Deghati has worked in all aspects of the industry from reportage to sales, editorial and commercial. Producing photography and multimedia narratives in collaboration with photojournalists worldwide on issues concerning developing and conflict stricken contexts across Asia, Africa and Europe. Currently Manager Education at the World Press Photo Foundation.

Ana Frangovska (curator at National Gallery of Macedonia)

ana_frangovska_photo_by_igor_todorovskiCreative and dynamic art professional with fifteen years curatorial, educational and research experience in the contemporary visual arts. She works as curator at the Macedonian National Gallery for the past ten years. She has effective public relations and presentations skills, and ample experience in written communication, planning and conducting art marketing campaigns.

Selected international curatorial projects: ‘In Search of a Common Ground 2’ (together with Bojana Janeva and Ars Acta), exhibition of ten contemporary Macedonian artists, Halle 50, Munich; ‘Essence of Existence’, exhibition of contemporary Macedonian art, Art Center Lauba, Zagreb, Croatia, 2015; ‘Utopia’, international conceptual exhibition, Multimedia center Mala Stanica, Skopje, Macedonia, 2015; ‘In Search of a Common Ground’ (together with Bojana Janeva and Ars Acta), exhibition of eleven contemporary Macedonian artists, Center for Contemporary Art, Baku, Azerbaijan; ‘Transfiguration’ – conceptual group exhibition of Macedonian contemporary art, Czech Center Prague, Prague, Czech Republic, 2014; ‘Bread and salt’ – conceptual group exhibition of Macedonian contemporary art, Porcia Palace, Vienna, Austria, 2013; ‘Silentiopathologia’, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, Pavilion of Republic of Macedonia at the 55th Venice Biennale, Italy, 2013; ‘Black and white or not’ group exhibition of Macedonian contemporary art, CAM Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Napoli, Italy, 2013; ‘Perception’, artists: Marko Manev, Mihaela Jovanovska, MC Gallery New York, USA, 2012; ‘Crucial in selection” Flemish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belgium, 2008; ‘Eastern neighbours’, Babylon Cultural Center, Utrecht, Netherlands, 2006; retrospective exhibition of Nove Frangovski in Taksim Sanat Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey, 2006; ‘Art exchange’ 2004, Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro, Los Angeles, USA, 2004; 10 Macedonian artists at the Autumn Salon, Paris, France, 2002, etc. Since 2012, she is co- founder and member of the Institute for Arts and Culture “Ars Acta”.

Damir Senčar (Picture Editor/Photographer at HINA, Croatian News Agency)

Damir Senčar (Picture Editor/Photographer at HINA, Croatian News Agency)My name is Damir Senčar, born in 1971 in Zagreb. I am a member of the Croatian Journalists’ Society (HND), the Croatian Sports Journalists’ Association (HZSN) and the International Sports Press Association (AIPS).

I worked as a photographer at 3 Olympic Games and 5 Paralympics Games. I covered most major events in Croatia in the last 10-15 years and I still like to experiment in photography.

My interest in photography started in elementary school, I developed black-and-white films, masked images, illuminated them, spent days and days in darkroom. At one stage of my life I attended a course in color photography – and I understood nothing. It was probably my grandfather who instilled in me this type of photography. I had a dozen cameras available to me, and Zorki was my first one.

Professionally, photography is an exhausting job, it requires constant practice and a lot of talent, researching, experimenting… Although I’ve been a professional photographer for more than 20 years, I always say that I can learn something new. I am glad that photography is both my job and hobby. People say that as a photographer I am technically perfect, I aspire to technical perfection.

I work in the Croatian News Agency (HINA) as a photo editor and I photograph on a daily basis. My photographs have been published by all major news agencies such as Reuters, AFP, AP, EPA, by many worldwide and almost all local printed media and websites.

Marko Marinković (freelance photographer)

Marko Marinković (freelance photographer)Marko Marinkovic started his photography career covering fashion but quickly turned to documentary approach. Pursuing a corporative career in the past left him with a set of marketing and communication skills that he used as an advantage in growing his photography business to this date. Mainly covering travel and weddings today, his photography focuses mainly on aesthetics and honesty. His travel and wedding work was featured in international exhibitions and featured in various magazines.

His wedding work got him named as one of the rising stars of wedding photography in 2016 by Rangefinder magazine. His documentary work was recognised by Nikon who made him ambassador for the brand.


Imre Szabo (photojournalist)

Imre Szabo (photojournalist)Year and place of birth. Mokrin, in 1956. Completed high school at Kikinda. Studied German Language and Literature at the Faculty of Philology of the Belgrade University. Published photos since 1974. articipated at over 200 exhibitions within the country and abroad, with numerous awards. Independent exhibitions: Kikinda (1974, 1988 and 2011), Mokrin (1977 and 1982), Skopje (1983) and Belgrade 1987,2011), Banatski Brestovac 2010, Paraćin 2012, Istanbul (2015).

Professional photographer since 1980 as newspaper photographer, initially at the editorial office of “Ilustrovana Politika” (until 1989), after that briefly at the daily newspaper “Politika”, after that at the editorial office of “Intervju” (until autumn 1991) and “Nin” until 1995, when he has decided to independently work with applied photography. In the eantime, he has worked as photography editor at the daily newspaper Danas, after that at the weekly magazine Blic News, Novi magazin, Status monthly magazine and for the news agency Fonet. His photos were published in numerous significant international journals (Stern, Focus, Spiegel, Mond, Lexpress, Time, Newsweek, Herald Tribune, Le Nouvell Observateur…) and in most Yugoslav newspapers, also in numerous monographs, catalogues and publications.

He has been a member of ULUPUDS (Assotiation the Serbian Applied Artists) since 1985. He is currently a freelance in Belgrade, Serbia.

Burim Myftiu (photographer)

Burim Myftiu (photographer)Burim Myftiu (born in Prizren, Kosova, 1961) is Albanian American photographer and Curator. He has received numerous awards and recognitions, and his work is held by major institutions internationally. In 2010 he was appointed The Cultural Ambassador by the European Commission. Myftiu is also the co-founder and director (2005) of DOKUFEST – International Documentary and Short Film Festival. He is curator of Gjon MIli Prize, Kosovo National Gallery, DOKUPHOTO 2004, Ara Guler 2011. Myftiu is represented by Kipa Gallery, New York. He lives in Connecticut, USA.

Senad Šahmanović (movie director)

Senad Šahmanović (movie director)Šahmanović graduated Film and TV at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Cetinje. During his studies he made several short feature films and documentaries, which were very successful in the country and abroad. As an assistant professor he worked in the domain of theater and film. He participated in a number of workshops and panel discussions on the topic of film and TV (Sarajevo Talent Campus, Berlinale, Nisi Masa, Pri Forum, etc). In addition to film and TV, he worked on creating advertisements and music videos.

His greatest achievement was “Umir Krvi”, a film screened at more than 50 international festivals around the world (Tampere Film Festival, Odense Short Film Festival, Busan SFF, Independent Film Festival Paris, Arpa Film Festival – LA USA). The film won a number of international recognitions, the most notable being the Grand Prix at a prestigious festival in Drama, Greece, followed by festival awards in Banja Luka, Skopje and Pristina.

Since 2015, he has been employed at RTCG Montenegro Radio Television where he produced several documentaries: “Rocky Village”, “Women Soldiers”, “Centuries of Independence”…

He received several international awards for his feature project “Sirin”, a joint French-Montenegrin production. The screenplay was written by Šahmanović and the French screenwriter Claudia Bottino.

Sarajevo Film Festival – Best Pitch
Award for Best Script Beaumarchais SACD – France
Pri Forum – Best Pitch

Aleksandra Nina Knežević (designer)

Aleksandra Nina Knežević (designer)Aleksandra Nina Knezevic (Sarajevo 1973). Graduated from the Academy of Arts (Cetinje, Montenegro), graphic design department. Her work is fresh and contemporary, and easily communicates an international visual language through playful typography and graphics. Her projects have been awarded worldwide and published in magazines specialized for design and art (Communication Arts, Luerzer’s Archive, Print, Typo, Fontmagazine…).

In 2010, Aleksandra Nina Knezevic is listed among the 200 world’s best illustrators (Luerzer’s Archive: 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide 09-10). From 2006-2010, she was the President of the Bosnian Association of Applied Artist and Designers (ULUPUBiH). She work as a freelance designer and as a designer and illustrator of books for many publishing houses in Bosnia and Herzegovina and abroad.

For project Sarajevo Dingbats awarded the Grand Prix prize Colegium Aristicum 2014 by all three professional Associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ahmed Burić (journalist and writer)

Ahmed Burić (journalist and writer)Ahmed Burić was born in 1967 in Sarajevo. A poet, prose writer, translator. His works were published in major media outlets in the South East Europe. His texts were translated into German, English, Czech, Slovenian, French and Spanish. He published poetry books: “The God of Transition” (2004), “Last Tears of Oil and Blood” (2010), “Mother Tongue” (2014), “Hypertension” (2017), as well as short stories in “Alexander Wittek’s Most Important Game” and “You Find It Funny That My Name Is Donald” (2017). He wrote a book of essays “From Ivana to Aziz” (“Neither on the Web, nor on Earth”). He is a musician and a member of the band “Kablovi”.

He lives in Sarajevo.

Miro Majcen (photographer)

Miro Majcen (photographer)Miro Majcen (Slovenia) photojournalist and music photographer of more than 15 years. Locally and internationally most known for his work as music photographer. His clients include The Rolling Stones, with Mick Jagger personally praising his photographs, Chris Rea, Depeche Mode, REM, Laibach, and many local artists. He has photographed hundereds of music legends from U2, AC/DC, Guns ’n’ Roses, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Rammstein, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Kiss, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, RHCP, Bon Jovi, Robbie Williams, Sting, Muse, Madonna, Queen, Chuck Berry, Loud Reed, James Brown, Bob Dylan, Kiss Pearl Jam and adding many more local and international names to his portfolio of collaborations.

As a photojurnalist working for POPTV and 24.com, the biggest commercial tv and website in Slovenia, he reported from arab spring uprisings in Egypt, reported from Ukraine protests in Kiev and produced stories from recent major milestone events in Greece, Balkan refugee crisis and other stories of the past 15 years. His work has been awarded with several Slovenian Press Photo awards. He attended photojournalist workshops with Antonon Kratochwill, Christopher Morris, Ron Haviv, Yuri Kozyrev and others.

Miro spends most of his spare time flying around in airplanes. Being a licenced pilot, flying actually started his professional photo career and has taken him to report from the biggest airshows in Europe and USA, as well as travel to an aircraft carrer to produce aviation related stories and photographs. His recent collaboration with the Red Bull Flying Bulls team resulted in a major book project. Miro is using Canon equipment and has been a local ambassador to Canon for many years.