2015/2016 Class 1



The word "labyrinth" is often synonymous with "maze". But many scholars recognize a distinction between the two: a maze refers to a branching puzzle with many choices of paths, whereas a labyrinth has only a single, intricate path, which – although complex and seemingly confusing at times – eventually leads to its center and back out again. Throughout history, in both ancient and modern cultures around the world, the labyrinth has surfaced, and has often been associated with notions of journeying, pilgrimage, experience, storytelling, and the perpetual search for knowledge and meaning.

This Masterclass is an opportunity for its participants to explore photography through labyrinths, and labyrinths through photography. Over the course of a year, each participant will make a new and substantial body of photographic work that will in some way investigate, incorporate, or be influenced by the idea of the labyrinth. This could be interpreted quite literally – in terms of creating labyrinths of one’s own, taking photographs of such structures or locations in existence, or engaging with a city, a landscape, an environment, or one’s own life as a kind of labyrinth. It could also be interpreted aesthetically - in terms of making visually “labyrinthine” photographs or photographic works. Or it could be interpreted structurally, conceptually, metaphorically or otherwise – in terms of using the idea of the labyrinth to inform how one finds, creates, constructs, edits, sequences, publishes, installs, exhibits or presents one’s photographic project.
Whatever the case, this theme will ultimately serve as a map for an exciting, intricate and intensive photographic journey, as well as a foundation for new, complex and engaging photographic work.

Aaron Schuman

Aaron Schuman is a photographer, writer, editor and curator. His photographic works, such as FOLK (2014), Redwoods (2012), and Once Upon a Time in the West (2011), have been exhibited and published internationally, and are held in a number of public and private collections.Additionally, Schuman regularly writes for a number of publications, including Aperture, Foam, Hotshoe, Photoworks, TIME, and The British Journal of Photography; he has also contributed essays to books such as The Photographer’s Playbook (Aperture, 2014), Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals (Prestel, 2014), C-Photo: Observed (IvoryPress, 2013), Photographs Not Taken (Daylight, 2012), Words Without Pictures (Aperture, 2010), and more. In 2014, Schuman served as Chief Curator of Krakow Photomonth 2014: “Re:Search”, and he has curated a number of other exhibitions, including Whatever Was Splendid: New American Photographs (Fotofest, 2010), Other I: Alec Soth, WassinkLundgren, Viviane Sassen (Hotshoe Gallery, 2011), and In Appropriation: Broomberg & Chanarin, Melinda Gibson, Seba Kurtis, Esther Teichmann, Michael Wolf (Houston Center of Photography, 2012).

Schuman is also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton and the Arts University Bournemouth, and is the founder and editor of SeeSaw Magazine.

2015/2016 Class 2 

Yuri Kozyrev
& Andrei Polikanov


The borders between photojournalism, documentary and fine art photography are blurring, bringing new challenges and opportunities to emerging and established photographers alike. Relying on the standard set of tools ‘prescribed’ by the photojournalism industry is no longer enough to create work that will stand out and reach a wide audience. In a world oversaturated with imagery, we must look for new ways of storytelling. A personal and, in some cases, conceptual approach of the author and new ways of getting the work out there are becoming increasingly important.

During the masterclass, the participants will focus on all the steps of developing a long-term documentary-based project - from idea to execution, publication and promotion. Together, we will plunge into an open and frank discussion on all aspects of the photojournalistic industry and its limitations, experiment, and look for new ways of telling the stories that matter with passion, commitment and care. Using the knowledge and skills gained within the industry, the participants will be encouraged to go beyond the limits of what is considered classic photojournalism to create artistic projects that represent the author's stand and unique way of seeing.

We don't know the answers but we want to invite you to take part in a year-long path of dialogue and experiments. The aim is, together, to make a step towards honest and real storytelling.
The result will be a completed body of personal work that will be an important addition to your portfolio and can be presented to magazines as well as art contests and galleries.  

Yuri Kozyrev

As a photojournalist for the past 25 years, Yuri Kozyrev (Russia, 1963) has witnessed many world-changing events, covering every major conflict in the former Soviet Union, including two Chechen wars, the fall of the Taliban in Afganistan, the war in Iraq, and the uprisings and their aftermaths in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Tunisia and Yemen. Yuri has received numerous honors for his photography, including six World Press Photo Awards, the 2004 Overseas Press Club Oliver Rebbot Award, the 2006 ICP Infinity award for photojournalism, the 2008 Frontline Club Award for the coverage of the Iraq war, and Trophee and Public Prize at the Prix Bayeux-Calvados for his work on Lybia in 2011. He won the Visa d'or News for his extensive body of work on Arab revolutions "On Revolution Road", which has been exhibited in many different countries since 2011. Yuri is a founding member of NOOR agency. He has been mentoring photographers at numerous occasions, including Open Society Documentary Photography Phoject, ISSP 2013 and WPP Joop Swart Masterclass 2014.

Andrei Polikanov

Andrei Polikanov (Russia, 1961) - graduated from the Military Institute of Foreign Languages, later serving as a commissioned officer on several missions in Angola. In the early 1990s worked with some prominent international photojournalists producing stories on events in former USSR (including wars and conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, Chechnya, Transnistria, Abkhazia, Tajikistan) for major international publications including Time, the New York Times Magazine, Stern, Spiegel and Paris Match. From 1995 - 2007 he worked as a photo editor for the TIME Magazine Moscow Bureau, and since 2007 is the Director of Photography at the Russian Reporter Magazine, Expert Media Group. Polikanov is a member of various national and international photo contest juries (World Press Photo, Visa d’Or in Perpignan and Interfoto Russia, among others), a member of the Joop Swart Masterclass selection committee, and a judge for World Press Photo’s educational program for the Middle East and North Africa. Since 2005, he has taught numerous workshops on photojournalism in Russia and worldwide - including mentoring at the Open Society Institute Documentary Photography Project, consulting the International Center for Journalists, and teaching at the Danish School of Media & Journalism, World Press Photo Regional workshops, as well as at ISSP in 2010 and 2013.


Built with Berta