Photographer Won €20,000 for the Project about His Fictional Search for a Bride in Ukraine

The jury chose his series from over 100 submissions from authors from 25 countries.

Swiss photographer Romain Mader won the main prize at the Foam Paul Huf Award, which is an annual contest for photographers under 35. The jury chose his project called Ekaterina and awarded him with a cash prize of €20,000.

The photographer himself is the protagonist in the series, which tells a fictional story about a lonely sex tourist who came to Ukraine looking for a bride. He travels around the country and meets different women until he finds the one.

“The idea was to create documentary evidence of sex tourism in Ukraine,” the photographer says in one of the interviews. “This is the idea that many photographers had before me, so I decided to create a legend and use the aesthetics of documentary photography. You will not know what is real and what is not.”

“Ekaterina is full of humor and irony, which the author uses to talk about the most serious topics: loneliness, love, exploitation of the female body. The photographer’s fantasies are very funny, naive, and sometimes absurd. This contrast between the theme and the way chosen to explore it makes the project extremely powerful,” a comment from the Foam Paul Huf Award jury says.

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