Sputnik Photos is an international collective of East-Central European photographers established in 2006.

The experience of the fall of communism in their region became a starting point for collective discussion of the social, cultural, and political processes that take place there. Using photography, film and photo books, the collective has been creating a record of the transformations in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. In pursuing their activity, Sputnik members collaborate with curators, writers, graphic designers, and cultural managers. Engaged in documentary practice, they investigate its boundaries, modern dimension, and function. Importantly, Sputnik is engaged in creating a diversity of visual education platforms which support and promote young artists from the region.

Jan Brykczyński

Born in 1979. He is a photographer, educator, and photo book author.


He is interested in the peripheries of our civilization, the places of grassroots, spontaneous human activity, and the ways in which they satisfy the need to live close to nature.


He is a lecturer at the Lodz Film School and the Institute of Creative Photography at the Silesian University in Opava (CZ). He is a co-founder of the Sputnik Photos collective and lecturer on the Mentorship Programme. His work has been presented at numerous national and international exhibitions. He has won competitions and scholarships including the Visegrad Fund, the European Cultural Foundation and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. His works are in the collections of the Musée de l'Elysée and the Centre Pompidou.


Karolina Gembara

Born in 1981. She is a photographer, researcher and activist whose work revolves around themes such as home, migration and care as well as political issues of her home country.


She uses photography both as a tool and a pretext for collaboration, fostering creative processes.


In recent years, she has initiated and completed several participatory projects involving people with a migratory experience. In 2013, she published her debut book "Fitting Rooms," which examines the role of women in her generation. Between 2009 and 2016, Karolina was based in India, where she produced her second book "When We Lie Down, Grasses Grow From Us". Karolina collaborates with the Archive of Public Protest and is a member of Sputnik Photos. She is currently working on her PhD dissertation, which centres around the subjective narratives of historical migrations. She divides her time between Berlin and Warsaw.


Michał Łuczak

Born in 1983. He is a photographer, visual artist and curator. He works mainly with photography and video. He is a graduate of the Institute of Creative Photography at the University of Silesia, Opava in Czechia and Hispanic Studies at the University of Silesia in Katowice. Since 2010 he has been a part of the Sputnik Photos collective. He co-leads a year-long workshop on documentary photography called Sputnik Photos Mentoring Programme and teaches at the Faculty of Art at the Pedagogical University in Krakow.


In recent years, he has focused on the complicated and mercantile relationship between humans, their immediate surroundings and the natural environment.


He does not look very far away, his latest works focus on local problems, which can also be viewed universally: the consequences of the coal industry or the economic treatment of forests.


Marzena Michałek-Dąbrowska

Sputnik Photos project coordinator. A graduate of the Institute of Polish Culture at the University of Warsaw, since 2010 she has been involved in the field of creating grant applications, coordinating and settling national projects, including the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Ministry of Education and Science, National Centre for Culture as well as international projects: EEA, V4, FWPN and the European Cultural Foundation, British Council and the European Solidarity Corps. From 2010-2021, she was an employee of the Royal Łazienki Museum, and since 2021 she has been associated with the Museum of Warsaw. She is a member of the Sectoral Committee for Social Dialogue for Culture at the City Council in Warsaw.

Rafał Milach

Born in 1978. He is a visual artist, photographer, artivist, and educator.


His work focuses on the tension between society and power structures.


He is the author of protest books and critical publications on state control. He is a professor at the Krzysztof Kieślowski Film School at Silesian University in Katowice, Poland. He has received scholarships from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Magnum Foundation, and European Cultural Foundation. Rafal is a finalist of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, Polityka Passports Award, a winner of the Author Book Award at the Rencontres Phototographiques d'Arles and World Press Photo contest. He is a co-founder of the Archive of Public Protests and Sputnik Photos collectives. His work has been widely exhibited, and is part of public institutional collections worldwide. Rafal is a member of Magnum Photos.


Adam Pańczuk

Born in 1978. He is a documentary photographer, he tells his stories using portraits, combining documentary and creative photography. His most important photographic project, "Karczeby", a story about man's belonging to the land, was awarded the Best Photographic Book of the Year 2013 in the world by the jury of the 71st Pictures of the Year International competition. He was appreciated by the longest-published photography magazine in the world, "The British Journal of Photography", which recognized Pańczuk as one of the most promising young generation photographers in the world. He studied at the University of Economics and photography at the Faculty of Multimedia Communication of the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań. He is currently a PhD student at the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava. He was a scholarship holder of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Winner of many awards, including National Geographic, Pictures of the Year International, Magnum Expression Award, Newsweek Photo Award and Grand Press Photo.

Agnieszka Rayss

Born in 1970. She is a photographer and freelancer, based in Warsaw, Poland. She is a co-founder of the Sputnik Photos collective. Her area of work is documentary photography. She studied History of Art at Jagiellonian University, and holds a PhD from the University of the Arts in Poznań. A two-time winner of the Picture of the Year award, a two-time finalist in the Hasselblad Masters Award, finalist of the Lucie Foundation scholarship, Alexia Foundation grant, and Lens Culture Exposure Award. Winner of several national press photography competitions. Recipient of a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture, Polish-German Co-operation Foundation, Municipality of Warsaw Grant and a scholarship from the Visegrad Fund. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Newsweek, The Guardian, and others.



Website co-financed by the City of Warsaw as part of the "Social Center of Photography CHLODNA 20" project.



European Solidarity Corps