Professional Commission First Prize Winner

Jan Brykczyński, born in 1979, is a documentary photographer based in Warsaw, Poland. He graduated from the Faculty of Photography in Lodz, Poland. He is a founding partner of Sputnik Photos and the International Association of Photojournalists. His work often focuses on rural regions of Eastern Europe.

Brykczyński has been awarded grants from the Visegrad Fund, and the Polish Ministry of Culture. His most recent awards include the European Photo Exhibition Award, Norway; Finalist at the Grand Prix Photofestiwal, Poland; the third prize in the Travel category of the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards, United Kingdom; and an Honorary Mention at the Lens Cultural International Exposure Award, France. Brykczyński has exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions and his work has been widely published.

Commission Proposal - Farming Tribes

"In the past, most people were born in local rural communities. They were self-sufficient and able to produce their own food. Nowadays, cities grow faster than ever. Most of us already live in urban spaces where, for different reasons, the access to healthy food is increasingly difficult. In less developed countries food prices are so high that people cannot afford it. In developed countries, cheap food is available, but it is not healthy. That is why providing valuable food becomes one of the key issues for modern urban citizens. Producing food appears to be an increasingly attractive solution.

In my project, I would like to take a closer look at a few different urban farming tribes: New York; Erevan, a post-Soviet city in Armenia; Warsaw and Kenya. I would like to visit each of these groups at least twice: once at the beginning of the farming season and once during the harvest time. Through my photographs I would like to examine their relationship both with nature and with one another. What has changed since they started farming? How do they manage to produce food in an urban environment? How does it influence their lifestyle and the quality of their life? How do they act as a group and how does that tribal life influence them?"

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