Transnistrian-born documentary photographer Anton Polyakov has won the first Bob Books Photobook Award for his project Transnistria conglomerate, capturing life in the unrecognised breakaway republic (officially part of Moldova) and delving into the topic of identity — both in terms of the region's population and the photographer himself.

“We were instantly captivated by Anton Polyakov's work,” affirmed Ibolya, Managing Director of photobook makers Bob Books, quoted by the British Journal of Photography. “His images draw you into the daily lives of people living in a very unusual situation. Anton gives a voice to the citizens of Transnistria and brings them into our consciousness with enormous skill. ”

“We remain a conglomerate of cultures, yet also a culture all our own. [...] In this story I tried to concentrate on people in their daily life — people of different generations, different epochs, the inhabitants of urban and rural areas. For some of them it's a completely new country without its own past, for others it is a continuation of the country that was once called the Soviet Union,” the photographer said of his project, explaining the complex makeup of the republic.

Following his win, Polyakov will produce a set of photobooks based on Transnistria conglomerate with the support of Bob Books, and will be featured on the British Journal of Photography Online.

French photographer Neus Solà and Indian photographer Harikrishna Katragadda were runners up in the inaugural competition.

 

Source: British Journal of Photography

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