Terje Abusdal has won the second Guernsey Photography Festival | Raven Russia International Photography Competition for his work Slash and Burn. Along with an exhibition of his winning work at the Guernsey Photography Festival 2018, Abusdal wins a £5000 cash prize.
The competition, which attracted over 300 entries from 50 countries, was judged by Simon Bainbridge, Editorial Director of the British Journal of Photography, Val Williams, UAL Professor of the History and Culture of Photography and International Curator, Marina Paulenka, Director Organ Vida International Photo Festival, Croatia, and Jean-Christophe Godet, Director of the Guernsey Photography Festival.
Mr Godet said: “All the judges were struck by the outstanding quality of Terje’s work. Using a mix of photographic approaches including traditional documentary narrative and conceptual methods, such as staging and physical interventions in the photographs, Abusdal manages to re-create, the magical, mysterious and sadly disappearing world of the forest Finns. Above all, the project explores the notions of identity, migration and sense of belonging.
The judging process has been very challenging, as all of the final photographers deserve credit for the quality of their work. It’s been good to see such a variety of subjects and approaches and demonstrates that contemporary photography is in good health”.
Abusdal’s work focuses on an ancient people known as the Forest Finns, farming families from Finland who settled in a large, contiguous forest belt along the Norwegian-Swedish border during the 1600s. While Forest Finn culture no longer exists, more and more people feel a connection to it. In fact, Forest Finns are recognised as a minority in Norway with the only official criterion for belonging to it being that you simply feel that you do. Slash and Burn investigates the beliefs behind the Forest Finns, which is often associated with magic and mystery, and what it means to be a Forest Finn today.
“We are delighted to provide continuing support to the Guernsey Photography Festival,” said Glyn Hirsch of Raven Russia. “Competitions such as this one do a great job of projecting a positive image of Guernsey around the world. Congratulations to Terje and to the Festival team and competition judges for organising such a fantastic event.”
For more information, visuals and interview requests please contact Jean-Christophe Godet via email.