Georgi Kozhuharov
"I see the world as a place that is big, but at the same time rather small. For me people are different but also the same. I've met very bad, but very good people as well. Culture is something that everyone carries inside and regardless of language barrier, one's culture is what allows him or her to communicate with the people who he or she meets in the world because even though there are so many different cultures, the values are the same everywhere."
International photo exhibition "here I live"
Georgi about the project

I created "Lens2Lens" in the end of 2017 together with my good colleague and friend Georgi Totev, before we traveled to the city of Raqqa, Syria - that has been just liberated from ISIS. Before our story from the city of Raqqa, I've worked with Georgi Totev in the Donbas region. We have created this platform for multimedia stories in order to be easier for us to legitimize ourselves in front of the military. We've decided that it would be best to create our own media and in this way to be completely independent and to be able to work in a manner that we want. We were surprised when a few months after the creation of Lens2Lens Bulgarian media started to see in us a good collocutor for the television, printed editions and radio programs that in some way are dealing with problems/themes on which we are working on.

We are funding our projects entirely with personal resources and then we sell the materials to the Bulgarian media and to some media abroad. We are hoping to succeed in finding the way to a successful/working model for a freelance journalism. Now we are trying to become recognizable not only with the extremely difficult stories we tell but with the focus we are putting on the way our stories are shot and presented in a more artistic and not so much "PRESS" way.
"Modern Bulgarian photography" (Sofia, 2017)
"The war on east" (Exhibition about the war in Ukraine) shown in Sofia, Varna and Budapest (2015)
My project "Six portraits of the protest" was part of exposition in "Sofia art gallery" (2014)
"Syria - in the eye of war" (Sofia, 2013)
"Athens and the anger" – (Sofia, 2011)
Akademika (Sofia, 2011)
PHODAR BIENNIAL (Pleven, 2011, 2013)
Canon Bulgaria (pictures of the year) (Sofia, 2007 - 2014)
BG PRESSPHOTO (Sofia, 2005 - 2016)
"Shavarsh Artin" (Sofia, 2007, 2008, 2009)
Newspaper „Dnevnik"
Newspaper „Capital"
Reuters agency
France Press agency
Associated Press
Deutche Welle
Amnesty international
National Geographic magazine
New York Times
Magazine De Nieuwe Liefde
De Persdienst
BTV Media group
Red Bull
Lecture in "the RED HOUSE" – center for culture and deliberation – 2018
Lecture in "New Bulgarian University" – 2016
Lecture in gallery PHOTOSYNTHESIS – 2016
Lecture in Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" – 2015
Lecture in city gallery of Varna – 2015
Lecture in city gallery of Pleven – 2013
BG PRESSPHOTO 2015 – 1st prize for photo essay
BG PRESSPHOTO 2014 – 1st prize for video story (short documentary about Taxim square protests in Istanbul)
BG PRESSPHOTO 2014 – 1st prize for photo essay
BG PRESSPHOTO 2013 – 1st prize for my story from Aleppo
Canon Bulgaria Picture of the year 2013 – 1st prize for my story from Aleppo
Special award from European journalist association for my story from Aleppo
BG PRESSPHOTO 2012 nomination for the biggest prize
Gold medal for photojournalism – (Akademika 2011)
Canon Bulgaria 2010 (picture of the year) – nomination for the biggest prize
Shavarsh Artin 2007 for international social photography
BG PRESSPHOTO 2006 for social photography
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— Have you ever been to Russia? What are your expectations?
— I've never been to Russia before. I'm looking forward to see as much as possible of the beauty of
St. Petersburg, and to make new friends.
— You traveled a lot so far, have you ever thought of moving to another country to live there constantly?
— I have the luck to work what I love in Bulgaria, and to have quite a good life in Sofia. It's nice to live at home, many of my friends went to live and work abroad but for me the life which I have probably will never be the same like in Bulgaria.
— Why did you decide to become a freelance war documentary photographer and to cover conflict zones' life?

— I've always wanted to tell stories from a war zones. For me the biggest power of photography is the documentary value that this art possess. Bulgarian medias just don't send journalists to a real war zones, so I've decided to go on my own. I took 2 weeks "vacation" from the media where I work, and went to Aleppo. I didn't tell anybody. When I came back to Bulgaria my story from Aleppo became very famous. Then I realized that it's not necessary some big media to send you to a war zone. Then I went to Donbas region and started to sell video reportages to the biggest television in Bulgaria. I think that the Bulgarian medias just can't take the responsibility to send a journalist to a war zone and I understand that. My daily job in the media where I work is to cover any kind of news and cultural stories like: business interviews, press conferences, big rock concerts, session of the parliament or speeches of the president. When I see opportunity to cover story from a war zone I take my gear, take couple of free weeks from my job and go to a war zone as a freelancer, then I start to sell my stories. As an advantage in this way I have the creative freedom to tell the story I want.
— Have you ever take risks during the shootings in conflict zones? What was the most dreadful experience?
— In a real war zone the risk is everywhere. Mortars, snipers, mines, kidnapping, and gun fire are all the time. I spend six days on the frontline in Aleppo where death was something very normal to happen. Nowadays it's so bad that the journalists are targets on the frontlines. Your press card or sign "PRESS" on the helmet or the jacket can't save you from the bullets. My worst experience was when I was running from a sniper fire on one street in Aleppo and felt down on the ground, then one guy next to me pushed me to a cover. I was not able to run fast anymore, because I was injured, but there was another street, which I had to cross. At this moment I was really scared.
— Do you make friends with anyone you've met during your work in the conflict zones?
— Yes - Every time I meеt other journalists on the field. We become friends and continue to communicate through Facebook. We exchange lots of information about some conflict areas and the ways to get there.
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