Eduard Michalko (Gender)

Things That Count is an online photography collaboration between young photographers from Europe and Asia. Students from the Photography dpt. of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp-Belgium correspond online via text and images with a group of young Vietnamese photographers (selected by Matca, an independent platform for photography in Vietnam).
The photographers are divided into pairs – one European, one Vietnamese – and communicate with one another about important current issues. In these unsettled times caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are confronted with existential questions about how we are living and what values are important to young people as they look to an uncertain future.
Each week the participants deal with a different assigned ‘value’, which they first discuss in their pairs, providing suggestions and inspiration for each other, before producing one photograph that expresses each individual’s personal opinion of the value in question. Fragments of the written communication between the participants and the final resulting photographs are published on a dedicated website each week for a period of 10 weeks between march and may 2021.
The project aims to be a stimulating and creative endeavour for the photographers, one that builds a bridge between two very different cultures. At a time when social contact is severely limited by the pandemic, we want to send a hopeful signal by creating an international network between upcoming artists and reflect on the things that count.