About Rafal Milach
Rafal Milach’s work explores themes of history and transformation—particularly within the former Soviet bloc—using a myriad of mediums such as photography, conceptual art, books, video and curation. Though he initially tackled subjects through a traditional documentary perspective, his later projects draw on a more conceptual approach.
Milach was born in 1978 in Poland, and grew up during the collapse of the Soviet bloc. He studied graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Poland, before ‘falling in love’ with photography the first time he picked up a camera. He later studied at the ITF Institute of Creative Photography of the Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic, where he is currently a lecturer.
Milach’s earlier projects focus on smaller, intimate stories. In 7 Rooms (2004-2011), he captured daily life of generation caught up between the mentality of the old Soviet regime and the up-and-coming Russia of the Putin era. More recently he has become interested in larger themes such as propaganda, political manipulation and eroding democracy. His project Refusal (2010-ongoing) is a growing collection of various models and situations dealing with power structures.
Photo books are central to Milach’s practice; he sees them “not only as a way to display images, but as a complete gesture emphasizing the idea of the project”. His award-winning photo books include The Winners, 7 Rooms, and The First March of Gentlemen and most recently Nearly Every Rose on the Barriers in Front of the Parliament, published in 2018. Milach has received scholarships from the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Magnum Foundation, European Cultural Foundation. He was the finalist of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018 and winner of the World Press Photo competition. Milach is the co-founder of Sputnik Photos collective.
His works have been widely exhibited in Poland and worldwide, and can be found in the collections of the MoMA Warsaw, CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, the ING Polish Art Foundation, Kiyosato, the Museum of Photographic Arts (Japan), and Brandts in Odense (Denmark).
Milach has been an associate member of Magnum since 2020.
Alexa Becker is the Acquisitions Editor for photography and art books for Kehrer Verlag. Having obtained her Master's in Art History from the University of Heidelberg, she started her career at Kehrer in 2003, where she is responsible for selecting and acquiring new photography-related projects.
Mrs. Becker provides artistic and marketing advice for photographers concerning the content and style of their work at several international portfolio reviews. She enjoys helping photographers and others appreciate the special qualities present in their work - in particular discovering novel, genuine visions of the world.
Mrs. Becker offers the point of view of a European art book publisher and is familiar with the overall art and photography market. As an acquiring editor for Kehrer, she is interested in projects that are based on a personal approach by the photographer towards the subject matter without it being evidently biographical.
She is interested in seeing any of the above-mentioned types of projects.
Mrs. Becker serves at several international portfolio reviews as a reviewer and is a frequent juror at various online juries.
STANLEY/BARKER is a publishing house founded in London by Rachel and Gregory Barker. From their studio in the heart of the English countryside, they produce a select list of highly individual publications each year, including Christopher Anderson Approximate Joy, COP and Pia, Trent Parke The Crimson Line and Jim Goldberg Fingerprint.
STANLEY/BARKER is known for the care and attention to detail applied to each publication, several of which have been selected for awards, including Judith Black Pleasant Street – Shortlisted for the 2020 Paris Photo Aperture Book awards, Sunil Gupta, Christopher Street 1976, Shortlisted for the 2019 Paris Photo Aperture Book awards, The Lucie Photo Book Prize and Les Rencontres d'Arles book Award, and Tod Papageorge Studio 54, shortlisted for the 2015 Paris Photo Aperture Book awards.
Gregory Barker is a publisher and Artistic Director based in England. He is a Co-Founder of STANLEY/BARKER, the UK’s leading independent publishing house dedicated to photography. Gregory graduated from London College of Communication and has also been the Commissioning Editor of Hotshoe photography magazine since 2010.
Rachel Barker is Co-Founder of STANLEY/BARKER. Rachel graduated from Central Saint Martins, Byam Shaw School of Art, and went on to work with companies such as Blurb, Prestel publishing and as Head of Marketing and PR for Leica Camera. As Director of STANLEY/BARKER Rachel oversees its editorial output and Marketing and publicity, utilising both her photographic and business expertise and knowledge.