Rafal Milach Photographs the Winners of State Competitions

By: Vasiliki Marapas - Jun 3, 2014
References: rafalmilach & itsnicethat
The subjects of Rafel Milach's latest series, 'The Winners,' are interesting, to say the least.

Milach become a propaganda photographer in order to capture winners of various (state and local) competitions in Belarus. He endeavored to find and document "the best of the best," in schools, nightclubs, discos and kolkhozes. Each photo swells with an inflated sense of national pride; however, behind the optimistic sense of nationalism lies a dark, threatening undercurrent that speaks to an oppressive government regime. Whether it's the slightly haunted look in the subject's eyes or the bare, utilitarian surroundings they are photographed in that betrays this sinister vibe is unclear. Either way, there is something distinctly off-putting about each image, as though it only tells a partial story.

Though relatively subtle and stripped back, Milach's series will no doubt elicit an emotional response.