Art and self-publishing as a tool for social change

24.05 – 14.06.2019, Kraków

“The Economist has noted that in a sense, “local artist” has become a synonym for an insignificant artist and “national” damns with faint praise. “International” has become a selling point in itself, and conversely, art dealers or collectors focusing on local artists are looked down upon as parochial.“ The quote after B. Reiert (, outlines the issue that has had a significant impact on the development of the art scene in the Visegrad region. In Poland, Hungary and Slovakia there have been some small, local initiatives gathering zine-scene. The content and the audience are there, but they are accompanied by weak regional collaborations, lack of discourse, as well as gaps in the education of the young consumers of the culture. Only one of the festivals taking place in the region is dedicated solely to photobook production, and only one is dedicated to artbook production. There is much more that can be done in the field. Despite, or perhaps due to the power of the Internet, self-publishing still holds a potential to engage a local artist with a wider public. It’s both a craft and a powerful tool for initiating a social change. Photography and book publishing is like a duo connected by its content and medium. Our interest in books as a medium is connected with the tension between objects of art and objects of use [for (anti-)propaganda]; the role of artists as activists and artists as players within the rules of Capitalism and the market; freedom of expression and freedom from expression.

Visegrad Fund

The project is co- financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.

PAPERLUST PHOTOBOOK FEST is organized by Fresh From Poland Foundation, in cooperation with strategic partners: Paper Beats Rock Foundation, Studio of Young Artists’s Association, Fotograf 07 z.s and Hardness & Blackness.

Paper Beats Rock

Fresh From Poland is an art platform created in 2014 out of the need to fill up the gap in publishing and promoting new Polish photography worldwide.
Focused on exploring new trends and activities in contemporary photography organisation deliberately crosses the boundaries of the medium in its traditional meaning. Besides showcasing best examples of the photographic works platform looks into to the other art forms existing between traditional photography and disciplines such us: books, digital graphic, documentary, fashion and collage.

Looking for new perspectives and introducing innovative approach Fresh From Poland aims to share works of young, yet not always well known artists with the wider, international audience and at the same time create opportunities of development.

In addition to daily online publications, platform expands their activity towards organising events, exhibitions, publishing books and zines.

Paper Beats Rock is a foundation and a DIY project dedicated to visual education. We’ve been fascinated by zine culture, photobooks and all the people that stand behind it. Our main goal is to support, promote and aggregate works of artists from southeastern Europe. Paper Beats Rock is also a publishing house and from the very beginning it was one of our dreams to create a comprehensive library containing a permanent collection – traveling or stationary – but most of all accessible for everyone and dedicated to photographic publications.

We are a NGO formally registered in Poland. We have conducted numerous educational activities for many groups, constructed around the idea of storytelling, reading images, book binding, image editing – all kinds of activities relating to photography. One of the branches of the foundation is a publishing house thanks to which we were able to publish a few books of young artists. Privately we are photographers, designers, animators and educators.

The Studio of Young Artists’ Association (FKSE) is a professional organisation, which has been functioning for already 6 decades, always giving dynamic responses to current art and social issues. The Association has a membership of about 500 artists, art historians, and critics.

The objective of the association is to facilitate the emergence and the work of its members in the cultural and artistic life. We foster the establishment of professional contacts, our members’ presence in Hungarian and international exhibitions and residencies, and we provide them with information and organizational support. The association also helps Hungarian and foreign curators and artists to get in contact with the young Hungarian art scene and to build collaborations.

Fotograf Magazine is a periodical that has been published in both Czech and English since 2002. Building on the magazine’s activities, Fotograf Gallery was opened in 2009 and, two years later, the first Fotograf Festival was held. This led to the establishment of Fotograf 07 o.s. as an officially registered association that functions as an art platform and carries out an extensive publication, exhibition, and educational activities in the field of photography.

Hardness&Blackness is an organisation focused on publishing and theoretical reflection on contemporary drawing in the international context.

Coordinator of the project:

Małgorzata Fricze

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