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Boryana Katsarova, Freezing

From the Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2015

by Claire Monneraye

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale is closing on Sunday 20 September. Make sure not to miss some of the highlights of this year’s festival. The Core Program includes 20 exhibitions and more than 200 artists feature in the Fringe Program. There is certainly something for everyone to enjoy.


Pick #3 Boryana Katsarova, Freezing

There is an elusive strangeness in these portraits of commuters. Although almost indistinguishable, their faces and eyes convey a great expressivity that is highlighted by the misty screen behind which they sit. Oscillating between sadness and enigma, each of these images carries a form of desperation.

In 2012, Bulgaria experienced extreme weather conditions. Heavy snow storms and record low temperatures blocked many regions in the country. Officials appealed to citizens to stay indoors, police searched for homeless people to make sure they didn't freeze to death. Traffic chaos, road closures, strained emergency services and grounded flights left entire villages cut off; the death toll exceeded 300 people.

Capturing the distant stares of passengers frozen behind frosted windows in her native Bulgaria, Boryana Katsarova documented this exceptional event in the most imaginative way.

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Boryana Katsarova is a freelance photographer represented by the Paris-based Cosmos Press Photo Agency.

After working for Agence France-Press in her native Bulgaria between 2007-2010, during which time her work appeared in major online and print magazines and newspapers around the world, Boryana decided to follow her dream, leaving AFP and becoming a freelance photographer specializing in documentary, editorial and portrait photography.

Her clients today are publications as International New York Times, Le Monde, Foreign Policy, VQR, Der Spiegel, Welt am Sonntag amongst others. Boryana was a Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting grantee in 2014. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Photography from the Bulgarian National Academy for Theater and Cinema Art /NATFA/.






All images are © Boryana Katsarova