The Winners is a homage to the everyday heroes of Belarus, which, as Polish photographer Rafal Milach discovered in 2011, is one of the most censored countries in the world. Milach’s maxim is “If you can’t beat them, join them”: “I decided to become a propaganda photographer and tried to capture the sense of national pride purported by multiple state institutions. Using this façade, I endeavoured to portray the winners of various contests of national and regional level,” Milach reveals. In its second edition, the book’s design also borrows from the language of propaganda by featuring the presidential decree on the front cover, and lyrics by internet star Ksenia Degielko that includes the line: “Say no to mini-skirts, short and tight; Just buy Belarussian, the only way that’s right!”
The Winners is available from Gost Books.