Hanna Jarzabek
From 4 November to 1 December.
Former convent of San Francisco (Terrassa). 
Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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What is it like living in a place that doesn’t exist on any map of the world?

Transnistria isn’t shown on the maps of Europe. Its capital is not studied in the classrooms and its problems don’t fill the front pages. The lives of its 500.000 inhabitants have been ignored by the international community for over thirty years.

In 1990 this narrow region squashed between the river Dniester and Ukraine declared its independence from Moldova in order to preserve its Russian language and identity. Thirty years later they have a government, currency, passport, borders, armed forces and so on, but even so it doesn’t exist for the outside world. It is in a legal limbo that spreads its tentacles over all facets of daily life: local goods cannot be sold abroad if they are not labelled as Moldovan products; financial transactions have to be done through Russian banks because its currency isn’t recognised, most pensions depend on Russia and until five years ago its university degrees weren’t valid outside its borders.

The lack of international recognition has also allowed the appearance of opaque businessesn, and the economy and politics are in the hands of a private conglomerate controlled by oligarchs. Poverty, isolation, corruption, lack of freedom and inequalities lead many people to emigrate. For those who stay, the problem of identity is starting to move into the background.

What defines a country? How do its inhabitants build their identities? How does the international silence affect everyday life? To answer these questions, in 2018 Hanna Jarzabek travelled to Transnistria.

The result can be seen from 4 November to 4 December in Álbum, a festival of contemporary image and photography in Terrassa.

Transnistria, de HannaJarzabek
Transnistria, de HannaJarzabek

Hanna Jarzabek

Hanna Jarzabek is an independent political scientist, documentary photographer and photojournalist. She worked for a couple of years editing social reports for UN agencies in Geneva until her travels to the Philippines, the Gaza Strip and Iran made her realise that photography allowed her to tell stories and denounce the things that she disagreed with.

Her projects deal with discrimination, social dysfunction in Europe and the building of national identity in the post-Soviet regions following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Jarzabek has also accumulated long experience delving into topics such as gender identity, sexual diversity, migration, radicalisation of young people and the rise of extreme-right movements in Europe.

Born in Poland, since 2008 she has lived in Spain, combining her works as a photographer with teaching at the International Centre of Photography and Film EFTI (Madrid).

Hanna Jarzebek. Album. Festival de la imagen y la fotografía contemporánea 2023

Her work has received numerous awards, including the XX Photography Award of the University of Murcia (2021), the Second Prize Educando la Mirada 2022 and the third Prize of POY Latam 2015 (Mexico), in the multimedia category. She was also nominated for the Oskar Barnack Leica Award 2023, received an Honourable Mention in the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award (UK 2021) and was selected among the Futures Talents 2020 in the EU Futures Photography programme. She has also been awarded prestigious grants by bodies such as the European Journalism Centre in Amsterdam (2022), the DESVÍO programme – Hablar en Arte, Madrid (2021), the European Journalism Center (2020) and the Helge Hummelvoll Scholarship of the 69th Missouri Photo Workshop (2017), among others.

Her work has been displayed throughout Spain and also in Germany, Georgia, Poland and Switzerland. Her reports are published regularly in El País, Newsweek Japan, XL Semanal, BuzzFeed News, L’Obs, Internazionale, Equal Times, 5W magazine, Interviú, Le Temps Magazine, 7k magazine, Gazeta Wyborcza, and Polityka, among others.


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