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Photographer Anna Filipova works on environmental and social issues in the Nordic countries and the Arctic area. She has just received the Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation’s Photographer Grant to run a project in Greenland that measures the impact of the development of the mining industry on landscape changes and the evolution of the local population’s way of life.

Originally from Bulgaria, Anna Filipova grew up in London where she went to two reputable schools: Saint Martins College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art. It is in this context that she started photography and visual communication, but her education was never disassociated from a pronounced interest in science.

Very quickly, through teachings of professors who intermingled art and environment, she looked at the Nordic countries. She made her first trip to Iceland, and it has now been seven years that she has explored this region of the world where she studies the causes and consequences of climate change. The future of many of these territories is linked to the intense exploitation of mineral and oil resources. They contribute to global warming and have an impact on the incremental changes to the landscape.

But Anna Filipova is also interested in the changes that affect the ways of work and life of the populations. The Inuits, who live in Greenland and are forced to move their activities. It is thanks to a prize awarded by the European Cultural Foundation that she discovered this immense area of land, three quarters of which are covered by an ice cap. The scientific issues that drive her became more precise and the photography experience enriched. She created work in black and white on the coal mines, which is a bit reminiscent of Sebastião Salgado, but in a less empathetic style. She very quickly felt the need to go back to develop her work in other forms, notably by using color. This would allow her to better capture the deteriorations of the environment.

Without losing site of the Inuits’ destiny, in order to complete her testimony on a daily life that gets poorer and poorer, she began doing videos. This gives a new dimension to her passion for documentary. This year, she will be accompanied by the Foundation Jean-Luc Lagardère, which is giving her the opportunity to take two more trips to Greenland in the spring and at the end of autumn, the moments were great changes in the light and landscape colors occur.


Gabriel Bauret 

Gabriel Bauret is an independent exhibition curator and an author of pieces on photography.



Pratical information:

Each year, an endowment of 15,000 euros is given by the Foundation Jean-Luc Lagardère to a francophone photographer under 35 wishing to create an original and innovative project of a documentary nature. You have until June 10, 2017 to send in your application!

For more information on the Fondation Jean-Luc Lagardère Photographer grant and to download an application form, click here: