Photographer Joakim Kocjancic (b. 1975) grew up in Milan with a Swedish mother and an Italian father with roots on the nowadays Slovenian border.
He studied painting at the Art Academy in Florens and Carrara (Italy, 1998-2002) and completed his studies with a Master in Photojournalism at LCC, London in 2005. During those years he travelled all around Europe, living in Italy, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden and England.
From the basic skills of painting he developed a photographic imagery that is expressive and graphic. He works only in black and white and analog, keeping the manual and organic tradition of painting. He is present in the moment with roots in the neo realism and the classic street-photography tradition.
Since 2006 he lives in Stockholm.
Between 2006 and 2012 he photographed the streets of Stockholm with the resulting book ”Paradise Stockholm” published by Journal (Sweden) in 2014. ”Paradise was the first project where I tried to manipulate reality towards an idea, still being documentary in the approach but translating that reality to something more subjective, an inner reality constructed with images”.
The project also shows a grittier and darker version of the usually recognized perfect city of Scandinavia.
The series was then exhibited around Europe: Berlin, Paris, Milan and Stockholm.
The following year, he received a scholarship from the Swedish Authors’ Fund, which resulted in the photo book ”After The Flood” published by Pacini editore (Italy), which was about the life in a small village in northern Italy. The project was exhibited at the Photolux festival in Lucca in 2018.
His latest project is the series ”Europea” -Taken between 1999 to 2016, this series is a photographic depiction of an open Europe, a vision of a city without borders: ”Cities mixes together in one metropolis- Europea- where borders dissolve and the focus shifts to people.”
”Looking back at the years I’ve spent around Europe, I realize it was about a search for an identity that wasn’t restricted by nationality. By reflecting myself in other people, I search for myself, find points of reference, make sense of my values, discover the things I love, and preserve what I don’t want to be lost.”
Europea is about the search of my own identity and maybe also a search for what a European identity can be.
The project won the Swedish Art Book prize in 2020 and first prize in the photo documentary category at the Photo Festival of Rovinj in Croatia in 2019. The Modern museum of Art in Stockholm has recently bought five prints for their permanent collection.
The book is published by Bokförlaget Max Ström and is designed by Lars Liljendahl & Eleonora Bergendal from La Strada Studio.
He always works in black and white and is fascinated by analog photography. The process behind the contacts, the selection with printing proof prints, to see the final result of the print and the time lapse that gives the opportunity to the work to evolve and mature. Through the editing and the post processing in the darkroom the aim is to create a surreal, lost in time atmosphere.
His work has been published in various newspapers, magazine like La Repubblica, The New York Times, Leica magazine, FishEye, Fotosidan, Dagens Arbete and ETC.
And has been shown at Centre de la Photographie in Geneva, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, at FORMA in Milan, at Fotografiska in Stockholm and in various galleries around Europe.