Bird in Flight Prize ‘21 Winner: Corona Rhapsody – Is This Real Life (part 2)

The Bird in Flight Prize ‘21 international photo contest winner is a German photographer Rafael Heygster and his Corona Rhapsody – Is This Real Life project dedicated to the impact of the pandemic. He won the first prize of 2,000 euro. The presentation of the projects took place on the screens at the Gulliver shopping mall in Kyiv — the largest LED display screens in Europe. Last year, two of his series called Corona Rhapsody and I died 22 times were shortlisted for the award.

“I have been documenting surreal scenarios of the pandemic in Germany. By using theatrical lighting, I play with the notion of what is real and what a futuristic vision might be. I feel very honored that my project Corona Rhapsody: Is this real life? Part Two is awarded by Bird in Flight Prize. Thank you very much to the jury, and a special thank you to the Bird in Flight Prize team”, — says Rafael Heygster.

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The members of the judging panel gave the following comments on the series that were sent to the contest this year:

“Witnessing new and personal voices is always such a treat and I am so happy to have had the chance to become familiar with so many talented photographers and their outstanding works”, — says member of the international Magnum Photo Agency, Bird in Flight Prize ’21 Jury member Newsha Tavakolian

“Analyzing the applications we received from the contestants and their countries of origin, I have sensed that there is a great international interest in the event”, said another member of the judging panel, Ukrainian photographer Valentine Bo. “It becomes obvious how much the pandemic affected people and what consequences it had. The topics of the projects are mostly related to traumatic experiences, soul- searching, and loneliness. Comparing them to last years’ series, I have noticed that there are fewer fresh approaches to building up a story. This, in my opinion, proves the obvious repercussions of the global isolation and all the restrictions caused by it.” — says another Bird in Flight Prize ’21 Jury member Valentine Bo.

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