Fotograf issue 36
Delivered to Stack subscribers in  Aug 2020

by Heval Okcuoglu in September 2020
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Czech photography magazine Fotograf works hard to push the boundaries of photographic art – take a quick flick through this issue and you’ll see there’s a wide range of unconventional work here, including abstracted and digitally manipulated imagery, all gathered under the issue’s theme of New Utopias. It’s an eclectic and often slightly disorienting reading experience, with works by different photographers and artists tumbling one after another, but it’s invigorating too; a magazine that lives right at the forefront of photographic art, and which wants to immerse you in its world.

Tomáš Hrůza.

Job title

What is Fotograf?
Fotograf Magazine is a comprehensive 80-page periodical that has been published in both Czech and English versions since 2002. Building on the magazine’s activities, Fotograf Gallery was opened in 2009 and, two years later, the first Fotograf Festival was held. This led to the establishment of Fotograf 07 z.s. as an officially registered association that functions as an art platform and carries out extensive publication, exhibition, and educational activities in the field of photography as well as in certain other overlapping disciplines. This organisation aims to promote and support photography within the context of the fine arts, to ensure its greater inclusion in contemporary art, and to increase public awareness about photography not only in the Czech Republic but also at a visible level on the international scene.

What makes it different to the rest?
Over the course of its existence, Fotograf Magazine has attained a prominent position amongst Czech cultural periodicals. At the global level, it is one of the most important magazines focusing on current photographic art. The mission and objective of Fotograf Magazine is to inform the Czech professional public as well as the broader cultural public about what is happening in the field of photographic art at home and abroad, and, even more importantly, to increase awareness about Czech photography and contemporary visual culture in the Czech Republic and elsewhere. Fotograf Magazine is published three times a year and each issue has a unique thematic focus. Because of the resulting quality of timelessness, Fotograf Magazine has an advantage over standard art magazines as it is possible to return to individual issues and use them as study materials for a specific thematic area.

Who makes Fotograf?
Artists, theorists of various generations and nationalities.

Who reads it?
Those readers who are related to photography but do not enjoy it in the traditional format.

Why do you work in magazines?
I enjoy it. It is a poorly paid job, but it fulfils and mentally enriches me. It’s probably a missionary complex.

Aside from the print magazine, what else are you involved in?
I take care of a non-profit organisation that publishes Fotograf Magazine. This organisation also introduces the gallery and organises a Fotograf Festival. I also take care of another non-profit organization, ArtMap, that publishes guides to galleries of contemporary art, has an online platform, a bookshop in Prague and an online bookstore, and publishes books focused on art. I teach photography at an art university FAMU. I’m an artist working with video, photography and installation. I am a member of the post underground/metal band Stresovicka Kramle. Last but not least, I take care of a non-profit organisation called Pilgrim that focuses on the phenomenon of walking and a sustainable approach to the landscape.

What would you change about Fotograf if you could?
I would like to make sure that Fotograf is found in any university or other library that focuses on art.

Where do you see Fotograf in five years?
In any library that focuses on art.

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