The Gomma Photography Grant is a grant contest tailored to fund and support photographers, both emerging and established, working among various genre. Started in 2014, Gomma Grant has quickly obtained a reputation of being ethical and quality-focused, with an eye to spot fresh talents and encouraging those already in the spotlight. In addition to receiving cash grants the winning and shortlisted photographers can enjoy a huge amount of international exposure. Photographers that are recognized through the Gomma Grant are known to have evolved their career to a higher level, both professionally and artistically.
The overall Winner of the 7th Gomma Photography Grant is:
ISIK KAYA: Second Nature
With the uprise of mobile devices, the infrastructural needs of the telecommunication industry have exploded, and since the 1980s, cell towers have started to fill the cityscapes. The scenery changed dramatically when the first antenna was transformed into an artificial pine tree in 1992. Besides the formal qualities of camouflaged cell towers, thanks to the revelations by whistleblowers such as William Binney and Edward Snowden, we now know how widespread the collection of data by organi-zations like the NSA is, and what role cell towers have in this. When we consider that all of our mobile phone metadata is constantly and permanently being recorded, camouflaged cell towers suddenly appear like clumsy secret agents hiding behind a bush. In various ways, the disguise becomes a part of the infrastructure.
ANTONE DOLEZAL: Part of Fortune and Part of Spirit
The Southwestern United States possesses a strange tale of western settlers seeking a utopian future. For those who aspire for divine knowledge it's a place that holds the key to the mysteries of the cosmos. Luminous globes falling in arcs from the night sky, giant craters in the earth and unidentified radio signals all create fertile ground for conspiracy and myth to take root. Here beliefs both old and new inter-twine, creating a realm where the magical and the ordinary are one and the same.This work focuses on new religious movements of the region and the beliefs to which they adhere. Influenced by folklore of the American West, Sci-Fi cinema, secret military programs and Eastern and Indigenous mysticism, the religious faiths I follow form a complex and entangled story. One aimed to illuminate the boundar-ies of belief and offer a meditation into the ideologies meant to eclipse the cycle of conventional life.
SALAH BENACER: The Berikas
If you drive through the Georgian Caucasus in winter, you are sure to be stopped by men in the road. Armed with stick or a plastic sword, they waylay your car and ask for money, cigarettes or alcohol: They are called the Berikas.From poor backgrounds in rural areas, they adopt elements of a pagan Georgian ritual, the Berikaoba, to earn a living. Every year, from early January to mid-March, they take to the roads and block the traffic to ask for money. The proceeds, shared out equally, are used to buy seeds, land, farming equipment, a car... A Berika can make up to 1,500 euros in a month – three times the entry-level salary of an IT worker in Tbilisi, Georgia's capital. This figure is falling yearly, say the Berikas. Some drivers give them booze, apples, chocolate, cigarettes and even hens.
Best Documentary Prize
Pierpaolo Mittica: Semipalatinsk, the nuclear weapons' crime.
In Semipalatinsk 456 nuclear warheads were tested. The impact of the radiation on the population of the nearby inhabited areas was kept hidden for several decades by the Soviet authorities. The nuclear fallout of the experi-ments involved more than a million people.
Hashem Shakeri: Cast Out of Heaven
Skyrocketing rents and house prices of Tehran gave birth to satellite towns cut up in the desert.Huge islands of soaring skyscrapers and indiscriminately developed apartments. These are notorious for social pathologies, like high rates of suicide among pupils and drug abuse. Here is the land of those cast out of their heaven–the metropolitan Tehran.
Best Black and White Prize
David Moline Gadea: Befor the Scaffolds
Before the scaffolds there was separation in nothing — Everything originated and ended within nature. Now it is technology that shapes and destroys our world. The scaffolds we use to build our cities are at the same time the bars of a cage we have made around ourselves. A cage to deny our innermost, and place us into the productive crowd.
BOUNDARIES OF THIN AIR
Arseniy Neskhodimow: Safety Cards
A few years ago I developed a fear of flying because I started to look at the safety instructions every time I got on a plane. In fact there are many different safety guides and all of them describe a world riddled with pending danger and give advice on what to do if something goes wrong. - I started taking pictures of my wife and I, who had been living in isolation together for 90 days due to the pandemic. I realized that, just like on a plane, I do not control anything.
The 2020 Gomma Grant Rising Talent
ALEXANDER TATARENKO: The Factory
"I've been an engineer at the factory for over fifteen years already. At my parents' insistence I chose this profession although I had been dreaming of an Art University. I thought I would be able to combine work and study while studying art and drawing. However after spending a whole day in a colorless office environ-ment, I find myself in such a stupor that I am only able to scroll through pointless news feeds. The work turned out to be a waste of time, a part of my wasted life. I'm looking for an escape from this status quo. To achieve a state of freedom an individual must be willing to have oneself transformed. And I am looking for what could give me the strength. Painting is an energy source for me. I am hanging the paintings of my favorite artists on the walls of the factory I am working at"