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Winner

Tomáš Rafa

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Finalists

Ján Šipöcz

Kassaboys

Katarína Poliačiková

Tomáš Rafa

your-art.sk

CV

Tomáš Rafa (1979, Žilina) studied at Professor Michal Murín’s studio of the Academy of Artsin Banská Bystricaand with Professor Grzegorz Kowalski at the Academy of Fine Arts inWarsaw, where he currently lives and is active as an assistant professor. His oeuvre issituatedat the borderline between art and activism. It unwinds in two main lines: the first representedby documentary photography and videos capturing various events in the public space; theother by actions initiated by the artist which he also captures on record. Rafa’s best knownand most extensive work is the projectNew Nationalisminthe Heart of Europewhich he hasbeen working on continuously since 2009. It involves the artist traveling to various places inSlovakia and the neighboring countries, especially Czechia and Poland, and capturing far-right, but also anti-fascist demonstrations, blockades, and protests. With his camera, heusually penetratesthe veryheartof events and creates shocking emotional videos whichmostly highlight the fact that violence does not solve anything. In the similar way he alsocaptures and presents other themes,such as the war in Ukraine or life in refugee camps. Rafaoffers possible solutions or explanation of certain social problems as part of his activities inRomani settlements. In cooperation with the local Romani communities, he calls attention tothe so-called sport (in factsegregation) walls phenomenon, poverty, dysfunctionalinfrastructure, but especially lack of willingness toenterreal dialog on part of the majoritypopulation. He publishes all his works on his YouTube channel and their impact reachesbeyond the boundaries of the art world. Rafa won the Oskár Čepan Award in 2011, thefinalists’exhibition took place in Bratislava’s Cvernovka gallery.The other finalists were anart group Kassaboys,Katarína Poliačiková and JánŠipöcz

Statement

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