‘Two Thousand Words’ won the 3rd Prize in the Photobook Award EI 2022

The award is organized within the Encontros da Imagem Festival in Braga, Portugal.

Samizdat is a work that reflects on the intellectual dissident movements that emerged in Eastern Europe. It delves into the underground resistance that tried to circumvent censorship by publishing books, magazines and newspapers banned during Soviet hegemony. These were known as samizdat, a word of Russian origin that means self-published. They had a strong impact in all communist countries, particularly in Czechoslovakia, following the signing of the manifesto known as Charter 77. Most of its signatories were arrested, banned from writing and publishing, and relegated to jobs far removed from their intellectual activities. Due to severe reprisals by the secret police service, it became necessary to take the movement underground once again. It was more important than ever to keep intact the channels used to distribute free and independent information. It was in this context that emerged a hidden organisational structure for the printing of banned books, free speech manuscripts and unofficial gazettes. Rudimentary techniques such as the use of multiple carbon paper copies when typing documents on a typewriter, were used. These techniques produced very few copies, which were passed person-to-person via an underground distribution network.

About the prize

At a time when the photobook is becoming increasingly relevant, as a complex, intriguing and creative vehicle to promote narratives and anthologies, it is an intention of Encontros da Imagem to foster author and self-published books.

Therefore, the Festival invited photographers to apply to the Photobook Award EI2022 with their books. Accepting author books, with more or less handcrafted production, original, personal and independent.


Ana Catarina Pinho
Visual artist & Editor (PT)

Rui Ribeiral
Bookseller, editor and curator (PT)

Olmo González Moriana
Co-director at Fiebre Photobook (ES)

More information

Festival website: http://encontrosdaimagem.com/2022/en/photobook-award

Dossier about the book: http://www.robertoaguirrezabala.com/two-thousand-words

For sale on: https://shop.robertoaguirrezabala.com