Shortlist 2019

Pavel Volkov

Pavel is a photographer from Russia based in Moscow. He started his career as a freelancer working for various photo agencies in Saint Petersburg and Moscow. He covered different social topics concerning Russia and relevant events in the country.  Pavel covered the events on the Maidan, in Crimea, including the south-east of Ukraine. Among his interests are projects related to the social problems of Russian society. Volkov is the author of several documentary projects related to youth subcultures such as football hooligans, fight clubs, street fighting. His works were shown in the evening screening at the Visa Pour L’image. His work was published in The New York Times lens blog, International New York Times, Der Spiegel. Washington Post, Harpers Magazine, Rolling Stones New York, undici11.

The Problem


"My skin is like sand on the beach," he says and chuckles. So you listen and can't decide whether to laugh or not. Lesha does not think. He laughs. What is hidden deep inside behind laughs and jokes about the beach, as well as dozens of plastic surgeries, trips to the best clinics in the world knows only himself - a boy from a distant Buryat village with a frightening name Coma. 
In 2005, an inadequate father (either drunk or on drugs) burned his two young children in the village stove. One of them died. Lesha suffered severe burns but survived. He was taken away from Buryatia. The boy's salvation lasted for many years. Skin transplantations, surgery, rehabilitation. His favourite mythical character is Phoenix. The bird who dies and burns himself in his nest, and then from the ashes a chick appears, and eternal life continues.