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ORGAN VIDA is an annual international photography festival that takes place every September in Zagreb, Croatia. ​This year’s 10th jubilee edition and program will be dedicated to women’s perspectives and it will take place during the Festival Opening Week from September 10—16 2018

The festival gathers international young ​and established ​
contemporary photographers with the common pursuit to advance the art and practice of contemporary photography, and ignite conversations about critical and global socio-political issues.


Engaged, Active, Aware — Women’s Perspectives Now

In the time of post-capitalist global turmoil, technological advancements, strengthening of the right-wing extremism, the growing influence of the religion that limits women rights again, and the semblance of democracy in the 21st century, we are facing a situation in which women must fight anew for the rights that had been won long ago.

In the midst of initiatives such as #MeToo, Free the Nipple, The Future is Female, and phenomena such as the female gaze, it is necessary to re-examine the current role of photography in representing and articulating women’s experiences, and to critically rethink how digital culture is transforming feminist approaches to the image.

How and why women protest and ignite change? Who are the heroines of our time? How are girls’ and women’s social roles and patterns of behaviour shaped? How do girls represent and self-represent on social media and how to think the new, so-called Instagram generation of artists? Psychoanalyst Joan Riviere in her essay Womanliness as a masquerade published in 1929 describes womanliness as a mask worn in the patriarchal society – a mask that actually forms an inherent part of the female identity. How is femininity as a mask reflected today? What is the role of our own bodies in a selfie-obsessed culture? Who are the viewers that we’re addressing?

In the last five years, the term the female gaze has become a ubiquitous buzzword in the art and fashion world. Many young artists have consciously adopted this term as a feature of their own approach, their activist and emancipatory engagement. The female gaze is juxtaposed with the dominant, patriarchal male gaze which objectifies the female body and defines the position of the woman as passive. Women artists purposefully take on an active role in order to articulate potential new perspectives on personal and direct female experiences that have, until now, remained invisible or been represented in a stereotypical manner. Can the female gaze be perceived as an intergenerational phenomenon? And has it been commodified and framed as merely a trend?

Members of an international jury will have the task of evaluating and selecting 20 artworks that address contemporary challenges, issues and perspectives related to this open call. In particular, the emphasis will be on the inclusion and appreciation of diverse attitudes, different cultural and geographic context that can jointly, in the framework of the curatorial concept, provide an overview of the current situation in the global socio-political and feminist scene. We therefore invite all interested artists who work in the medium of photography as such or in an expanded form, video, or installation to apply to this open call and respond to the given topic. The selected artists will exhibit their work at the 10th Organ Vida Photography Festival at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, Sep 12 — 30, 2018.


— Lea Vene and Marina Paulenka


  • All
  • TALK

Alongside the main festival exhibition, Organ Vida program also includes workshops, artist talks, portfolio reviews, lectures,
music/theatre performances and much more. The events take place at some of the most unique and striking venues across the city of Zagreb.




Katalin Ladik, poet, performance artist and actress (HU)

Katalin Ladik (Novi Sad, 1942) is a Hungarian poet, performance artist and actress. She was born in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia (now called Serbia) and in the last 20 years she has lived and worked alternately in Novi Sad, Serbia, in Budapest, Hungary and on the island of Hvar, Croatia. Parallel to her written poems she also creates sound poems and visual poems, performance art, writes and performs experimental music and audio plays. She is also a performer and an experimental artist (happenings, mail art, experimental theatrical plays). She explores language through visual and vocal expressions, as well as movement and gestures. Her work includes collages, photography, records, performances and happenings in both urban and natural environments. Feminism is another important component of her multifaceted work. Rather than distinguish between literary, musical, theatrical and visual disciplines, Ladik’s work revolves around the body, the voice, and phonetic and poetic experimentation.


Laia Abril, multidisciplinary artist working with photography, text, video and sound (ES)

Laia Abril (Barcelona, 1986) is a multidisciplinary artist working with photography, text, video and sound. After graduating from college with a degree in Journalism she moved to New York to attend photography courses at the ICP. There she decided to focus on telling intimate stories which raises uneasy and hidden realities related with sexuality, eating disorders and gender equality. In 2009 she enrolled in a 5-years artist residency at FABRICA, the Benetton Research Centre in Treviso, Italy, where she worked as a creative editor and staff photographer at COLORS magazine. Abril’s projects are produced across platforms as installations, books, web docs, and films. Her work has been shown internationally in the United States, Canada, the UK, China, Poland, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Turkey, Greece, France, Italy and Spain. Her works are held in private collections and museums, such as Musée de l’Elysée and Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland and MNAC in Barcelona. More recently she has been awarded the Revelación Photo España Award, Fotopress Grant and Prix de la Photo Madame Figaro for her exhibition at Les Rencontres d’Arles (2016) A History of Misogyny, chapter one: On Abortion. After completing her five-year project On Eating Disorders, Abril has embarked on the new long-term project, A History of Misogyny. Its first chapter On Abortion was published by Dewi Lewis on 2017; and now she is currently developing a second chapter, On Rape Culture, together with a series of different series and installations under the umbrella of A History of Misogyny.


Nina Berman, documentary photographer, filmmaker, author and educator (USA)

Nina Berman (USA, 1960) is a documentary photographer, filmmaker, author and educator. Her wide-ranging work looks at American politics, militarism, post violence trauma and resistance. She is the author of three books: Purple Hearts – Back from Iraq (2004), Homeland (2008), and An Autobiography of Miss Wish (2017), a story told with a survivor of sexual violence and reported over 25 years. Her photographs and videos have been exhibited at more than 100 venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and Dublin Contemporary. Her work has been recognized with awards in art and journalism from the World Press Photo Foundation, Pictures of the Year International, Open Society Foundation, and New York Foundation for the Arts, Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and Hasselblad. She is a member of NOOR images, a photography and film collective based in Amsterdam. And she is an associate professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where she directs the photography program. Nina lives in her hometown of New York City.


Tomoko Sawada, artist (JAP)

Tomoko Sawada (born in Kobe, 1977) studied at the Seian University of Art and Design. She uses photography to explore the relationship between one’s inner life and outer image. Her works borrow compositional devices from familiar photographic formats such as the school portrait and wedding and fashion photography, restaging them in a satirical mode so as to lay bare their various stereotypes and assumptions. Predominantly casting herself in the role of the model, Sawada has built an extraordinary cast of characters that present a humorous and incisive portrait of the Japanese society. She has been a recipient of the Grand Prize at the Canon New Cosmos of Photography, the ICP Infinity Award, and Kimura Ihei Memorial Photography Award. Tomoko Sawada lives and works in Kobe, Japan.


Arvida Byström, artist (SE)

Arvida Byström, the Swedish, selfie-stick obsessed, Instagram-native creates images that converse with our online identity and the tension between the pleasures and anxieties that surface through digital culture. Arvida’s work exists within its own web language of pastels, flowers, selfies and pink USB cables.


Fiona Rogers, Global Director of Business Development for Magnum Photos International (UK)

Fiona Rogers is the Global Director of Business Development for Magnum Photos International. working to implement new business innovations and strategic partnerships. Prior to this she was the Cultural & Education Manager, conceiving and delivering international exhibitions and events and creating Magnum’s global Education department in 2006.

Fiona is also the founder of Firecracker, a platform supporting female photographers. In 2012, Firecracker launched an annual grant, offered to photographers to complete a long-term documentary photography project. In 2017 she co-authored the book Firecrackers: Female Photographers Now, featuring over 30 contemporary women practitioners, published by Thames & Hudson.

Fiona has a strong interest in emerging photographers and has been involved in international platforms such as Recontres D’Arles, FORMAT Festival and the Singapore International Photography Festival. She has participated as a judge for several notable competitions including the Mack First Book Award and the Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography. She is on the Board of the Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol and an advisor to the Royal Photographic Society.


Photography Association Organ Vida

Office and Gallery
Medulićeva 16/1, 
10000 Zagreb

Festival Center

HALA V, behind the Technical museum Nikola Tesla
Tratinska 2, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
[email protected]
+385 91 6302 213
+385 91 7833 563

Press and Public Relations

[email protected]
+385 97 7640 358

[email protected]
+385 91 7833 563

Festival Team

Program creators, curators and managers
Marina Paulenka, Lea Vene and Morana Matković

Luja Šimunć, Klara Petrović, Lovro Japundžić,
 Sandra Vitaljić, Barbara Gregov

Paola Orlić, Aron Adžijević, Ivan Vičević

Tena Razumović Žmara

Hospitality office
Paula Pavlović

Visual identity
Alma Šavar

© Organ Vida 2018 | Coded with much @mk

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