The Kranj Foto Fest has received 142 applications from 41 countries for the open call on the theme ISOLATION | FREEDOM. We would like to thank everyone who has submitted their photographs.

 Our jury had a hard time selecting the shortlisted projects that showed a deeper and broader concept of ISOLATION | FREEDOM. So, scroll down and get to know the photographers who will exhibit in Kranj this August!

The winner

Erjola Zhuka

Series Ode to my Family (2019-2021)

Erjola Zhuka will have a SOLO EXHIBITION in the Kranj Foto Fest 2021

Erjola Zhuka (b. Albania, 1986) studied Multimedia Arts and Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, Italy, and received a Master in Photography from the University IUAV of Venice. In July 2020 she published her first book ODE TO MY FAMILY.

Erjola writes: “Ode to my Family is a visual diary that finds in the individual dimension a universal reflection that intends to capture the signs and symbols of individual identity, caught in the moments in which the defenses and social masks are lowered between private and public environments. The geo-cultural dimension, captured between Italy and Albania, represents my past and my present, which coexist and feed each other in a perverse game of symbolic and cultural references”.


Meet the photographers who will be part of GROUP EXHIBITIONS in the old town of Kranj.

Valentyn Odnoviun
(b. Ukraine, 1987)

Kai Yokoyama
(b. Japan, 1975)
The day you were born, I wasn’t born yet

Francesco Andreoli
(b. Italy, 1996)

Maša Lancner
(b. Slovenia, 1984)
Migratory Birds

Jorge Fuembuena
(b. Spain, 1979)
Wood stories

Martina Zanin
(b. Italy, 1994)
I Made Them Run Away

Eva Nicoletti
(b. Slovenia, 1997)
Seeking For Sparkles of Life

Ludwig Nikulski
(b. Germany, 1989)

Rina Vukobratović
(b. Serbia, 1986)

Peter Giodani
(b. Slovenia, 1983)
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain

Nicola Lanciotti
(b. Italy, 1988)
The Humming of Swan Wings

Keiny Andrade
(b. Brazil, 1977)

Matthijs Uivel
(b. The Netherlands, 1982)
Dancing Notes

Aki & Astrid Sinikoski
(b. Finland, 1978)
New Ghosts

Ewa Doroszenko
(b. Poland, 1983)
Generated Island

Simon Chang
(b. Taiwan, 1978)
Hawler Psychiatric Hospital

Jan Pirnat
(b. Slovenia, 1993)

Maryna Shtanko
(b. Ukraine, 1992)

Polona Avanzo
(b. Slovenia, 1980)
What is living a “normal” life?


Do you want to exhibit your photos in the picturesque city of Kranj, Slovenia, in the heart of Europe, during the summer 2021?

The Kranj Foto Fest invites photographers from all over the world to submit their original and impactful series and photo stories on the theme of ISOLATION | FREEDOM to be presented in Kranj from August 25th to September 30th 2021, in solo and group exhibitions.

Submit your work and get the chance to exhibit it at the new international festival Kranj Foto Fest. What is more, this will also enable you to connect with photographers, curators and gallery owners.


Throughout the past year, isolation has become an all too familiar word for most of us. A new virus has emerged and the governments had to impose lockdowns to contain its spread. But isolation is not a new thing. It has existed (literally or metaphorically) since the very beginning of our species.

Isolation. Separation. Loneliness. Remoteness. Segregation. Quarantine. Confinement. The list is endless.

Isolation can be voluntary or imposed. If it is imposed, it affects our freedom.

How have political decisions impacted our rights of liberty? How has the virus and this pandemic transformed our way of seeing the world? Has photography shifted from public to private as never before? How have photographers captured the consequences of lockdowns and how have these influenced our lives?

The Kranj Foto Fest aims to show the range of manifestations of isolation and freedom. We welcome photo series that are directly related to this pandemic but, more than that, we are eager to see stories that show a deeper and broader concept of ISOLATION | FREEDOM


What will the festival offer?

  • The curators will choose ONE WINNER to have a SOLO EXHIBITION at the Kranj Foto Fest 2021 and will shortlist a number of photographers for group exhibitions taking place in public areas, at historic landmarks, as well as in art centers, galleries, forests and waterfront areas of Kranj, Slovenia, from August 25th to September 30th  2021;
  • All the production expenses will be covered by the organizers;
  • Your application will be handled and judged by a team of experts on photography;
  • All selected photographers will get an amazing opportunity to show their work to a qualified audience consisting of art critics, curators, photo editors, gallery owners and publishers.

What and how can I apply?

  • A series (not isolated images without any connection) from 6 to 20 photos in jpg format with 1200 pixels on the longest side;
  • A short description (max 800 characters) in English or Slovene about your project, including information about its title and year that your series or photo story was developed;
  • Your bio with up to 1500 characters in English or Slovene, including your personal info (email, phone number, country of residency and date of birth).
  • Send your material until May 20th 2021 using the form below or use the email info@kranjfotofest.com.  Single files should not exceed 500 kB.

What do I get?

  • Exposure at the Kranj Foto Fest’s main exhibitions and at locations all around the old historical center of Kranj as well as in green areas with all the production expenses covered by the organizer;
  • Network of curators and publishers and the possibility of your works getting exhibited and published on the festival partners’ platforms/at their venues as well;
  • Inclusion in the Kranj Foto Fest’s marketing & PR campaign + printed and digital publications.

By when can I apply?

The deadline to send your photos is May 20th 2021.

How much does it cost?

The participation is free of charge.

Who can apply?

Photographers and collectives of photographers of any age from all over the world.

What are the requirements?

  • The photo story should follow the theme of ISOLATION | FREEDOM;
  • Photographers should guarantee that they have the same photos in high-resolution that is ideal for exhibition printing. These hi-res files will be required if your work is selected;
  • By being selected to participate at the Kranj Foto Fest, the photographers understand that their images can be used to promote the festival in digital and printed materials, press and on social media.

When will I know if my work was selected?

The results of the open call will be published on this page on May 28th 2021.

Commitments of the organizer

  • The Kranj Foto Fest undertakes the responsibility of curating, printing the photos, producing the exhibition on the locations chosen by the organizer in the city of Kranj, Slovenia;
  • The organizer reserves the right to cancel the festival (or some of its activities) anytime due to COVID 19 pandemic;
  • The organizer will be responsible for disposing of the received materials (online and printed) after the end of the festival.


Barbara Čeferin

Owner of Galerija Fotografija gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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Ciril Jazbec

Slovenian freelance documentary photographer.

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Moritz Neumüller 

Curator, educator and writer on Photography and New Media.

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Klavdij Sluban

French photographer of Slovenian origin.

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Fernanda Prado Verčič

Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Kranj Foto Fest.

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Barbara Čeferin (b. Slovenia, 1968) is the owner of Galerija Fotografija gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

After studying Spanish language and literature and Ethnology at University of Ljubljana, she worked, from 1989 till 1993, as a freelance photojournalist, then as a photographic editor for Slovenian magazine and as a photographer for various Slovenian theatres. Her photographs were published in most Slovenian as well as in some Yugoslav newspapers and magazines.

In 2003, Barbara decided to quit her job as a photographic editor and opened her own gallery for fine art photography Galerija Fotografija gallery which was the first private gallery for fine art photography in Slovenia. The motivation behind the founding of Galerija Fotografija was to make fine art photography better known to the Slovenian public at large and to act as something of a forum for those active in the photographic arts circles as well.

In addition, she has sought to create a market for fine art photography which until then, had been largely non-existent. The gallery is dedicated to fine art photography, representing photographers from both Slovenia and around the world. 

In the last 18 years Barbara curated more than 150 exhibitions of Slovenian and foreign artists in Galerija Fotografija as well as in other venues in Slovenia and abroad. In 2014 she also opened a bookshop specialized on photographic arts. In 2018 under her guidance special sector for photobooks called Fotocona startet at Slovene Book Fair.

Ciril Jazbec (b. Slovenia, 1987) is a Slovenian freelance documentary photographer.

His work focuses on communities that are confronted by the effects of globalization and the climate crisis. In his long-term projects, he aims to raise awareness about the deterioration of our planet and the increasing impact of the climate crisis. He has seen the rising sea levels in Kiribati, the erosion and melting of permafrost in Alaska, and has spent over seven months in Greenland documenting climate effects on the Inuits.

Ciril studied Management at the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana before moving to London to study photography. He gained an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication in 2011.

His awards include the World Press Photo Award in 2021, Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award in 2013, Photo Folio Review Les Rencontres d’Arles winner in 2013, Magnum 30 under 30 in 2015, PDN’30 New and emerging photographers to watch in 2016, and Pictures of the Year International World Understanding Award in 2018.

Ciril’s work has been featured in National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times, GEO, Der Spiegel, Neu Zürcher Zeitung, Marie Claire Italy, Leica Fotografie International, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wired UK, and The British Journal of Photography. Ciril has been working as a contributing photographer for National Geographic Magazine since 2014.

Moritz Neumüller, Ph.D. (b. Austria, 1972) is a curator, educator and writer in the field of Photography and New Media.

He has worked in research and management positions for international institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, La Fábrica in Madrid and PhotoIreland, in Dublin.

He is currently chief curator of the Photobookweek Aarhus, Denmark. Since 2010, he runs The Curator Ship, a platform that provides useful information for visual artists. At the same time, he started the project ArteConTacto, to improve the access to arts and culture. From 2016-19, Neumüller was the Communication Manager of the award-winning EU-project ARCHES.

As a reviewer, Moritz is interested in seeing contemporary work made by photographers and media artists from around the world, especially cross-media, documentary, social and conceptual work. He is less interested in traditional nudes or still-lives, commercial work, life-style and fashion.

In the case that he himself cannot include you in one of the shows he curates for festivals and institutions, Moritz is known to try his best to give useful advice, casual mentoring and even contact information of other people who might well be interested in your work.

Klavdij Sluban (b. France, 1963) is a French photographer of Slovenian origin.

“Artist of the Year” in South Korea (2017), winner of the Prix de Photographie de l'Académie des Beaux-Arts de l'Institut de France (2015), the Villa Kujoyama (2015), the European Publishers Award for Photography (2009), the Leica Prize (2004), the Niépce Prize, main French prize in photography (2000), the Villa Medici Hors-les-Murs (1998). He develops a rigorous and coherent body of work, nourished by literature, never inspired by immediate and sensational events. Klavdij questions the contemporary world throughout a specific photographic writing, dark yet poetic, working on long term projects in countries, islands, prisons, where time and space are condensed.

His images have been shown in such leading institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Photography of Tokyo, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, the Rencontres d'Arles, the National Museum of Singapore, the Museum of Photography in Helsinki, the Fine Arts Museum in Canton, the Musée Beaubourg, the National Gallery in Jakarta, the Museum of Texas Tech University. In 2013, the musée Niépce showed a retrospective of Klavdij’s work, After Darkness, 1995-2015.His many books include East to East, Entre Parenthèses, Transverses, and Balkans -Transit.

Since 1995, Klavdij has been photographing teenagers in jails. In each prison he organizes workshops with the young offenders to share his passion. First originated in France, in the prison of Fleury-Mérogis. This commitment was pursued in the disciplinary camps of Eastern Europe for eight years: in former Yugoslavia, in former Soviet Union, Georgia, Moldova, Latvia. For six years in Central America with imprisoned youngsters from gangs in Guatemala and Salvador. In 2015, he started photographing imprisoned teenagers in Brazil.

Klavdij is represented by Gallery Klüser, Germany, Galerija Fotografija, Slovenia,VA Gallery, Hong Kong.

Fernanda Prado Verčič (b. Brazil 1980) is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Kranj Foto Fest.

Fernanda is a professional working with photography at a wide range for more than 20 years. She is from São Paulo, Brazil, where she graduated from Journalism, gained an MA in Photography and worked as a photo editor at Valor Econômico – the most recognized Brazilian financial media. In São Paulo, she was a member of the photo collective Oficina da Luz. The group focused on documenting the drastic change caused by the disorganized enlargement of big urban centers. They also run a gallery with an extensive program of workshops, talks with artists, exhibitions and photo fairs.

As a journalist, Fernanda has been writing about photography for various media.

Based in Kranj since 2011, she is eager to create a bridge between Brazilian and Slovenian photography: she curated in 2013 the first exhibition on Brazilian contemporary photography in Slovenia; has published for the first time in Brazil articles on the Slovene inventor of photography on glass Janez Puhar and has been a player to connect photographers to important venues here and there.

She enjoys helping photographers by providing artistic and marketing advice, is especially interested in documentary and conceptual storytelling to include in the Latin American and European festivals and institutions. Passionate by photo books, she is hoping to see projects at any stage and help photographers from shooting, editing, layout and finally publishing their photobooks.