Photo by Ansis Starks

Until May 17, photographers and visual artists are invited to submit self-made, unpublished photobooks and book dummies for the fourth international Self Publish Riga contest. The best of the submitted works will be presented at an exhibition at the ISSP Gallery during Riga Photomonth 2021.

Stories Editorial April 15, 2021

«At a time when we are facing restrictions, the photo book has become a particularly important way of presenting art projects — its life continues even after the exhibition closes, and it can easily travel anywhere in the world. The book itself also becomes an autonomous work of art, in which not only the images but also their layout and sequence, text, book format, design and print play an important role. For a long time, a photo book in Latvia mostly meant a massive artist’s monograph or exhibition catalogue, but in recent years changes have been seen — artists, designers and publishers have begun to perceive photo books as a new challenge to realize and experiment with their ideas, trying to prove themselves internationally,» points out the organisers of the event ISSP.


The creators of Self Publish Riga are convinced that, despite the circumstances, the past year has been suitable for creative work and the creation of a personal photo book, so they invite artists to share what they have done and submit their photo book model to the competition. The work submitted must be either a hand-made book (usually in one or a few copies) or a self-published book with no more than 50 copies. In order to participate in the competition, the photo book must be delivered to the organizers both in physical format and electronically, as the work of the jury will take place both remotely and in person. Applications must be submitted by 17 May.

All entries to the contest will be judged by an international jury: founder and director of Self Publish, Be Happy Bruno Ceschel (Italy), curator of ISSP Gallery and Self Publish Riga, writer and photographer Evita Goze (Latvia), founder and director of the independent publishing house Skinnerboox Milo Montelli (Italy), award-winning book designer and typographer Alexey Murashko (Latvia) and researcher, curator at Fotodok Daria Tuminas (Russia / the Netherlands).


The author of the winning dummy will be awarded an exhibition at the ISSP Gallery as part of the next Self Publish Riga edition 2023. Additionally, the author of the best dummy from the Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) will be granted 500 EUR credit towards printing and framing from Fine Art Print. A shortlist of the submitted dummies will be displayed at the exhibition planned in the summer of 2021 at the ISSP Gallery in Riga.


Self Publish Riga is the only festival dedicated to photo books in Latvia and one of the central events of the Riga Photo Month. This includes an international exhibition, a book layout competition and a public education programme, thus encouraging local authors to focus on photo book creation and self-publishing. Self Publish Riga has been organized by ISSP since 2014.


More information about applying for the competition — on the ISSP website.