Guide to SKOPJE

Young photographers from Macedonia and Greece compete for best picture


Tranquility, a rarely seen beauty, but also disorder of the unkempt and remote Mariovo, have always been attractive to artists from all over the world andMacedonia. The area that has more houses than population  inspires poets, painters and photographers to capture both the beauty and solitude in which Mariovo villages live.

At the award ceremony in Seres, Greece

One of the best photos that have been made lately, depicting the essence of this wonderful region, presented in a kind of a picture-in-picture style, is the photo of young Teona Mangovska from Bitola. Her photograph literally freezes the essence of Mariovo.

winning photography

She is only fourteen years old and has already won an international award for photography that was awarded to her not long ago, in Seres,Greece. Teona won first place with her work entitled “The Quest for Life” in an international photo competition on the theme “Water and mountains in border areas” within the Interreg program for cross-border cooperation between Macedonia and Greece.

Third prize: Pelister, a view towards Mikri Prespa

Mangovska was stunned by the beauty of Mariovo countryside and decided to participate in the contest with a photo of this region. “I photographed the far south of the border between Macedonia and Greece in Mariovo region, which is one of the most mystical and least populated areas not only in Macedonia, but also in Europe. An area of over 1,300 km2 has less than 500 inhabitants. My photography is a story of Budimirci village, its crumbling houses, ancient walls, abandoned life, rare images of human presence, an occasional donkey standing by a secluded house, a dog, abandoned mail … There is a public phone which, of course, does not work. The mailbox has probably not received any new post recently.” – she says.

It is only the cemetery in the village that tells of life in bygone times. Silence alone, speaks of the secrets hidden in every stone, guarded by the looming peaks of Kaimakchalan mountain. “I think this photography is special, with a strong message and a story that is not yet told to tourists visiting Macedonia, and I believe it will encourage many to go to Mariovo, which is the least inhabited area in Europe.” – explains Mangovska.

Forty competitors participated in the contest, all of them citizens of Macedonia and Greece, with a total of 160 photos. Fifty best photographs were exhibited in Seres, Greece and audiences were amazed at the natural beauty of the two countries. Mangovska won first place and a piece of artwork by the Greek painter Christophoros Balabanidis.

Christodoulidis Nicholaos fromThessalonikiwon second place with his photograph “Walk on Water” made in Kilkis, and Martin Martinov fromSkopjewon third place.

Christodoulidis Nicholaos, second prize: walking on the watter

Mangovska said she did not expect to have a chance in such a big competition, where experienced and professional photographers sent their photographs. “The award made me take my hobby more seriously. I started to dedicate more time to studying books on photography, I also started attending a photography course by Dejan Dzolev. Meanwhile, I took part in two competitions, one for the Jean Monnet Award, and the second competition organized by the American Embassy where I had satisfactory results.” – she said. At the first exhibition in Seres, she had the opportunity to meet with most of the participants in the contest, including photographers fromGreece. “Personally, I think these projects bring us closer. Culture is the easiest way to overcome obstacles, and artists are the ones who should not be having any kind of obstacles .