Winners 2022 > Dominik Geiger

Dominik Geiger

The Valley of the Forgotten

The Valley of the Forgotten is an exploration of a densely forested region in West-Ukraine in-which an Austrian community has settled down for more than 250 years ago. An honest, yet dreamy portrayal of people and landscapes whose existence was forgotten for the past hundred years.

Lumberjacks and their families from the Trauntal valley set out for the Carpathians (now Ukraine) in 1775 by order of Empress Maria Theresa – with the aim of settling in what was then Austro-Hungarian territory to source wood for salt mining. Descendants of those Upper Austrian colonists still live in the hidden Königsfeld (Ust-Tschorna) and continue to earn their livelihood working in the timber industry. 

At the intersection of documentary and art photography, Geiger devotes equal attention to the people, nature and culture of this mountain village of 1500 inhabitants. The series »The Valley of the Forgotten« is a cross-societal journey that makes visible the connections between Austria and Ukraine that continue to this day.

About the artist:

Dominik Geiger navigates between documentary and conceptual photography. His body of work is an anthropological portrayal of overseen existence put into a geographical and historical context. Out of familiar situations and landscapes actual social issues get addressed to be rethought in a wider timeline.

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