Dear photo friends,
at this year’s competition, as of March 31st, over 2900 photographs by authors from 16 countries were sent in and, as expected, photographers from the region preceded the number of entries.

This year, amongst the finalists were six authors from Croatia, five authors from Serbia, two authors from Slovenia, and one author from Iraq, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Slovakia each.

Due to the epidemiological situation in the country and the world, this year’s Rovinj Photodays festival did not take place as scheduled, but despite the changes, the finalists exhibition is available for viewing to everyone on the festival’s website, and this year’s Grand Prix has been announced!

In the pandemic year of 2021, a large number of photographers applied for the Photodays competition. This year too, the attention was drawn by the younger generation. The quality of works varied, but the jury received more than enough artworks, artworks that really stood out, so the process of selection was not easy. In many of the works, authors explored the topic of the present time, and not just in the category of documentary photography, to which the jury paid special attention.

A great emphasis was also placed on the artworks from the region, which dealt with topics specific to this area. At the same time, in the category of landscapes we devoted particular attention to city landscapes or ‘cityscapes’, where we selected two excellent series. In the categories of nudes and portraits, where the concepts of time and space are harder to convey, we mostly looked for originality and modern approach. 

There were a lot of submissions that met that criteria, and among them a series that exceeded that criteria to such an extent that we decided to award it the highest prize.”

– said the jury president, Dejan Sluga.


The winner of the Grand Prix wins a cash prize of 2,000 EUR, a solo exhibition with a catalog in the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka during the autumn of 2022, a solo exhibition with a catalog in Rovinj during the Rovinj Photodays festival in 2022 and a weekend stay in Rovinj!

Zuzana Pustaiová (born 1990 in Levice, Slovakia) started her interest in visual arts with painting but soon switched to photography, which she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia, and University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld, Germany. Currently, she is completing her doctoral degree in arts.

In her artworks, Pustaiová explores role-playing in contemporary society as a principal element that forms the relationships between family members, relatives, friends, or other diverse social groups. With a sense of wit, humor and irony, she uncovers the cultural stereotypes related to gender, age, tradition, and social inclusion.

She has received numerous awards in contemporary photography and in 2018 she was named Slovak Photographer of the Year. She has exhibited internationally in Europe and Canada. Her first art book, based on the work Faces of Family, by Kehrer Verlag is currently underway, scheduled for publication in 2021.

Pustaiová lives and works in Levice and in Bratislava (Slovakia).

“As the basic photographic genre, portrait is ‘eternal’, but like other genres, it is always subject to redefinition and reinterpretation. Nowadays, however, the point where stories of individuals captured on camera begin and end is not a matter of genre constraints, but rather a matter of determining and interpreting of authorial concepts. Instead of formal, craft-based skills, the main criterion in selecting the works in this category is the author’s approach.

Zuzana Pustaiova’s project ‘One Day Every Day’ displays an outstanding quality. The author uses humor and irony in exploring the roles performed by the protagonists of her personal social network.

– said the jury president, Dejan Sluga.

This year’s selection was conducted by a three-member jury:

  1. Dejan Sluga, Program Manager and Director of the Photon Center for Contemporary Photography – President of the Jury, SLO
  2. Sabina Salamon, curator at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka, CRO
  3. Hrvoje Slovenc, photographer, NY

They were given complete autonomy in the judging process, regarding both the number and placement of the finalists, to insure that the final exhibition represents the very best of the work sent in.