top of page

2020 Winners

Courtesy of Aleksandra Bardas

Aleksandra Bardas

Born in 1988 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, living in Germany.

Since 2013-2019 Bachelor Degree in Photography University of Applied Sciences Dortmund. Currently Master's student Studied photography at FH Dortmund (University of Applied Sciences and Arts). Mostly working in journalistic and documentary photography.

Student: Winning Entry: Sweet Salt of Emptiness

In Soviet times, Uzbekistan had to grow cotton in huge quantities. Water of the rivers which flow into the Aral Sea, was used to irrigate the fields. Less and less water reached the Aral Sea. Its dehydratation began which caused other problems. Drying out in the desert turned over by 100 degrees, drinking water ran out. All fish factories were closed. If in 1960 fishing catch amounted to 40,000 tons, in the mid-80s it decreased to only 2 tons. Local fisheries simply ceased to exist, more than 60,000 jobs were lost. Many fishermen found themselves without work. People were forced to leave their homes and look for a new residence in order to find a job and feed their families. Today there is not a single species of fish in the sea, only Artemy plankton. Pesticides used for irrigation of fields got into the groundwater.

This story is not only about disappearance of the Aral Sea, but also about people whose lives, continuously depleted, are being tested every day.

COVID-19 Reflections...

April 24, Essen, Germany
Night. Outside the window lilac blooms. This spring has deceived us. I open the window and it becomes clear to me that it smells of life outside. This aroma of a flowering tree is so real, I can't get it enough. We are imprisoned, in the inability to see close people, look into their eyes, hug. We are eagerly waiting for the time when everything will return to its circles, but as before it will be gone, it definitely won't. And this gives hope that everything can start from scratch.

bottom of page